The most controversial and much talked about investigative expose’ into African football,
“Number 12” produced by Africa’s most revered undercover journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas
continues to make the headlines across the world.
Since it was premiered in Ghana on June 6th, 2018, the over two years of painstaking
investigative piece, which exposed massive corruption in football, culminating in the
resignation of the President of the Ghana Football Association Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi from office
after he was captured receiving $65,000 from undercover journalist posing as a businessman,
has continued to gain recognition.
The latest institution to recognize the impact of “Number 12” is the Global Investigative
Journalism Network, GIJN.
The GIJN which is an international association of journalism
organizations that support the training and sharing of information among investigative and
data journalists—even in repressive regimes and marginalized communities, named “Number
12” among best investigative stories that made the headlines in its “Editor’s Pick” series for the
year 2018 under review.
Editor of the GIJN, Raymond Mpubani compiling the “Editor’s Pick Series for 2018, noted that,
“in January, the Ghanaian journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas hinted about a story that would
reveal secrets about some respected officials. The undercover reporter’s investigations usually
become the talk of the country, and many waited with anticipation”.
Mr. Mpubani added that, “but this time, the focus was not just Ghana.
The documentary, in partnership with the BBC’s Africa Eye, was released in June and
revealed that across the continent; nearly 100 football referees and officials were
filmed taking cash bribes ahead of important matches”.
According to him the massive impact of “Number12” and its relevance, stems from the
fact that “the two-year undercover investigation featured jaw-dropping scenes, including
recordings of a Kenyan World Cup-bound referee accepting $600 from a reporter acting as a
football association representative, and the top Ghanaian football official accepting $65,000
from a reporter posing as a businessman.
The team also showed how a referee who had accepted$700 from
a Ghanaian team “official” awarded a disputed penalty during an
African Champions League game in that team’s favor”.
The GIJN editor recounted that, “the president of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi
Nyantakyi, however, resigned following the exposé, even as he denied any wrongdoing.
The international football governing body FIFA also temporarily suspended him for 135
days and launched an investigation into allegations in the documentary.
The Confederation of African Football also suspended a number of referees and Ghana’s
referee association issued eight-lifetime bans and 53 10-year bans”.
Since its inception in 2012, the GIJN is growing in huge numbers with 1200 attendees from
a record 130 countries at its last conference.
It also runs a highly competitive fellowship program to bring journalists from developing and
transitioning countries, and assist in regional workshops and conferences around the world.