Kwesi Nyantakyi will no longer serve in any football structures after being banned by Fifa for life. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

LAGOS – Ghana’s former football president Kwesi Nyantakyi has been banned by Fifa from football for life and ordered to pay a hefty fine after being found guilty of bribery and corruption.

Fifa’s ethics committee banned Nyantakyi “for life from all football-related activities (administrative, sports or any other) at both national and international level,” the governing body of football said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

The committee found Nyantakyi guilty of “conflicts of interest”, “bribery and corruption” and “commission” after being caught on camera accepting bribes. 

Along with the ban, Nyantakyi faces a fine of 500 000 Swiss Francs ($496 000, €438 000).

In June, a documentary by investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas was broadcast showing hidden camera footage of Ghanaian officials taking bribes, including Nyantakyi. 

Nyantakyi was accused of requesting $11 million to secure government contracts.

The revelations rocked Ghana, where football is the national sport and which prides itself as being a stable democracy in an often turbulent region.

In September, the Referees Association of Ghana said it had banned eight referees and assistant referees for life, while 53 officials were subject to 10-year bans. 

Football analysts have described corruption as a “curse” on African football. 

On Tuesday, 10 youth players from Benin were jailed for one month each for lying about their age after they were kicked out of qualifying for next year’s under-17 Africa Cup of Nations finals. 

At the same hearing, the former president of Benin’s football federation, Anjorin Moucharafou, was sentenced to two months in jail.