Ghana vows to respect FIFA rules in probe of World Cup disaster

Portugal's Ronaldo (L) scores a goal against Ghana in Brasilia during the FIFA World Cup on June 26, 2014
Portugal's Ronaldo (L) scores a goal against Ghana in Brasilia during the FIFA World Cup on June 26, 2014 (AFP Photo/Evaristo Sa)

Accra (AFP) - Ghana on Friday said a planned probe into the country's disastrous World Cup performance would comply with FIFA regulations after football's governing body issued a warning over the inquiry.

FIFA earlier this week sent a letter to Ghana expressing concern that an official investigation into the Black Stars' World Cup flop could violate the independence of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

Under Ghanaian law, an adverse finding by a public inquiry can trigger the firing of a public official.

But FIFA has strict rules concerning the management of its partner associations, including guidelines on dismissals.

"Should any decision be rendered by the Commission against GFA officials thereby removing them from office, it would be considered as interference in the GFA affairs and the case would be brought to FIFA highest instances for appropriate sanctions," FIFA's letter said.

But Ghana's Minister of Youth and Sports Mahama Ayariga, whose office is leading the inquiry, said: "We have no intention of witch-hunting anybody."

He said the GFA's top leaders may not qualify as public officials, meaning their dismissal could be avoided even if the inquiry finds fault with their job performance.

The Black Stars were a disappointment both on and off the pitch in the 2014 tournament held in Brazil.

The side failed to advance beyond the group stage after losing to both the United States and Portugal and drawing with Germany.

Separately, two of the team's top players, midfielder Sulley Muntari and striker Kevin-Prince Boateng, were suspended indefinitely by the GFA after getting into altercations with team officials.

A scandal erupted before the team's final match against Portugal, when players demanded that more than $3 million (2.2 million euros) in cash for appearance fees be flown to them in Brazil.

Many Ghanaians were aghast at the high-profile exchange of cash amid the country's recent economic trouble.

Ghana recently began talks with the International Monetary Fund for aid after its currency fell 40 percent against the dollar this year.