May 17, 2022

Naa Odofoley Nortey: The lawyer who masterminded GFA’s victory over Palmer

For Naa Odofoley, there had to be just one outcome from the Palmer versus GFA case which was being adjudicated by the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

For the sake of her own integrity and that of the Normalization Committee which she was a member of, a win for the GFA was non-negotiable.

Not only her ‘legal football career’ hanged in the balance but the legacy of the Normalization Committee was also up in air.

A victory for Palmer was going to erase any positive thing the NC did while a defeat for the Tema Youth chief was going to remove anything that stood between the committee and success.

For Odofoley, her ‘questionable’ reputation in Ghana football was going to suffer another dent or she was going to come out unscathed, depending on the outcome of the case.

Her association with Ghana football has been far from smoth. Right from when she was announced as a member of the Normalization Committee, the vicious attacks have been loud and consistent.

In an industry dominated by men, Naa Odofoley was not spared the brushes of misogynistic comments by some people who were uncomfortable with her rather assertive and frank posture.

For every move that was made by NC, it was either Kofi Amoah or Odofoley who were in the firing line and Odofoley in particular was hit hardest.

In a meeting that preceded the elective congress in October, Odofoley spent hours taking the GFA members through the new statutes and rules. At the end of an informative and riveting presentation, it was her ‘arrogant’ posture that became an issue of concern for the stakeholders.

Odofoley was not a member of the Vetting Committee that kicked Osei Palmer out of the election race but when the decision was announced, she was the point of attacks because ‘she was the only lawyer on the NC”. What the crusaders interestingly forgot was that the Vetting Committee had three lawyers who were more than capable of determining when there is a breach of the FAs statutes.

So, when time finally came for the NC to bring the curtains down on its works, there were excitements that ‘that woman’ is finally going.

Odofoley’s was not going to leave without controversy. When the Congres overwhelmingly voted to reintegrate King Faisal and Olympics back into the GPL fold, it was Odofoley who got the sticks for masterminding a return of her darling club Accra Great Olympics.

As she said in an interview those allegations were false and without merit.

So, when her name came up as the lawyer leading the FA’s battle against Palmer, there were musings of annoyance that ‘that woman’ is back again.

To her critics, she had return to finish off the ‘bad’ project she started with the NC.

So, for Odofoley there was everything to prove in this case. Prove that the NC acted rightly by disqualifying Palmer and also prove that she is a lawyer worth her salt.

After eleven months of back and forth, judgement has been passed and Odofoley has delivered victory for Ghana football.

With this victory, ‘Naa Gucci’ can walk with her head held high knowing that her reputation and integrity is as sound as ever.

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