Author: Rramon Isaku, Pima Community College
Dear Soccer Players, Coaches, and Soccer Fans all over the world,
With this speech, I would like to honor a man named Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela and talk about his life. Although I did not know him personally, he inspired and impressed me with his actions. Thanks to his commitment, a sign has been set against corruption in soccer, which will shape and change the future of the sport.
Born and raised in Wulensi, Ghana, he had few prospects. He took an early interest in politics and studied political science in Accra at the University of Ghana. As luck would have it, that’s where he met Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the CEO of Tiger Eye Private Investigations. An organization from Ghana that has been investigating and exposing corruption, human trafficking, smuggling, and human rights violations throughout Africa for many years (The journalist who was shot in cold blood).
After wrestling with problems as an undercover investigative reporter, he finally became Anas’ right-hand man. Together with the organization, they could expose and stop important cases. Crucial achievements were the exposure of widespread corruption in Ghana’s judicial system or the killing of people for the harvest of human body parts for good luck rituals (Gunter). The biggest case, however, was the investigation of corruption in African soccer. Ahmed, along with other members of the organization, bribed football officials before matches using false identities and gave them money for manipulation in favor of a team (Betraying the Game). At the end of the investigation, more than a hundred referees and football officials accepted bribes to manipulate matches. Resignations of various positions occurred, with Kwesi Nyantakyi, the president of the Ghana Soccer Association, also being banned for life (Asiedu). A milestone in the fight against corruption in sports.
Nevertheless, soccer is heavily affected by corruption, with the future of the sport not looking bright. In the past, corruption in the World Soccer Association became public due to issuing sponsorship rights, marketing rights, and World Cups to specific persons and countries (Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption).
Do you want corruption to continue and ruin soccer?
In my opinion, no! As a soccer player myself, it breaks my heart to read news about corruption in soccer and how it negatively affects the sport. Accordingly, it is now time to act together and set a sign so that fairness becomes the major element of our sport again.
Ahmed Hussein-Suale Divela proved that the fight against corruption works. Thanks to people like him, the pursuit of fairness in sports is possible. Although he was threatened with death during investigations, he had not stopped (Gunter). Unfortunately, he was shot dead in the public street on January 16, 2019 (UN Experts Urge Ghana to Ensure Justice for Murdered Journalist Ahmed Hussein- Suale Divela).
A man who risked his life for the truth and the fight against corruption. A man whose story and deeds have received too little attention. A man who left us too soon.
“The Journalist Who Was Shot in cold Blood. ” The Mail & Guardian, 19 June 2020, https://mg.co.za/africa/2020-06-18-the-journalist-who-was-shot-in-cold-blood/.
Gunter, Joel. “Murder in Accra: The Life and Death of Ahmed Hussein-Suale. ” BBC News, BBC, 30 Jan. 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47002878.
“Betraying the Game: Anas Aremeyaw Anas investigates football in Africa – BBC Africa Eye documentary. ” YouTube, uploaded by BBC News Africa, 7 June 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eoFI-u3m88
Asiedu, Kwasi Gyamfi. “In Africa’s Freest Country for the Press, the Murder of a Journalist Brings Back Dark Memories. ” Quartz, Quartz, 18 Jan. 2019, https://qz.com/africa/1528026/ghana-journalist-ahmed-hussein-suale-killed/.
“Nine FIFA Officials and Five Corporate Executives Indicted for Racketeering Conspiracy and Corruption. ” The United States Department of Justice, 9 June 2015, https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/nine-fifa-officials-and-five-corporate-executives-indicted-racketeering-conspiracy-and.
“UN Experts Urge Ghana to Ensure Justice for Murdered Journalist Ahmed Hussein- Suale Divela. ” OHCHR, 15 Feb. 2019, https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=241 73&LangID=E