Accra-based club Hearts of Oak have called on “wrongdoers” caught in Anas Aremeyaw Anas’ investigative piece on football to “resign from their positions immediately”.
Several high-ranking officials of the Ghana Football Association, including president Kwesi Nyantakyi and referees, were seen in the video documentary - premier on Wednesday - engaging in various acts of fraud and match-fixing.
Hearts supporters have lamented the repercussions of the activities of the third-party match fixers, who posed as officials of the club, on the team’s brand. While a club statement on Thursday also expressed unhappiness over the method, the club are calling on the shamed ‘corrupt men’ to do the right thing.
“Like many Ghanaians, we watched with interest the investigative documentary, Number12, by Anas Aremeyaw Anas and offer the following comments: We believe that anything legal and ethical that uncovers the truth, creates transparency and holds people accountable, is good for football in Ghana. We all need to hold ourselves to the highest standards, on and off the pitch, if we wish to realize the vast potential of the sport here,” the statement signed by club chief executive officer Mark Noonan read.
“While we were pleased and not surprised that no official of our club was implicated in the report, we are deeply disturbed that Accra Hearts of Oak SC was used by actors planted by the production company to serve their purpose. This unauthorized use of imposter posing as Club officials is not something we would ever condone, and we strongly condemn it.
“As a club, we have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to any sort of bribery or match manipulation. This policy is covered in our club's Code of Ethics, in employment agreements and contracts signed by our coaches and players.
“We also strongly believe in due process and hope that those that have been accused have the opportunity to defend themselves without prejudice. That said, we also call upon those who know they have done wrong to look in the mirror and do the right thing by immediately resigning from their positions.
“Finally, we call on all those who truly care about football in Ghana to use this moment to bond together and create a better future for the game in this country. There are so many honest, hard-working, and dedicated servants of Ghana football who don't deserve to be painted by this dirty brush. We look forward to joining them and doing our part to restore confidence and joy in the beautiful game here.”
Ghana Football Association president Kwesi Nyantakyi is unarguably the biggest personality caught on the tape. He is currently under police investigation on orders of Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo.