June 20, 2017 - Atlanta, Ga: Sixth district congressional candidate Jon Ossoff speaks to the crowd during the Jon Ossoff election night party at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter Hotel Tuesday, June 20, 2017, in Atlanta. This is the election coverage of the sixth district congressional runoff between Jon Ossoff and Karen Handel. PHOTO / JASON GETZ
Photo: Jason Getz
Photo: Jason Getz

What’s up with Jon Ossoff? Taking down a top-level corrupt African soccer official

Posted Sunday, June 10, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Jon Ossoff will be remembered in Atlanta political circles as the Democrat who almost beat Karen Handel in a Republican-favored district last year in the most expensive House race in history.

But his day job is an investigative journalist and documentarian. His latest work took him to Africa. A BBC special “Betraying the Game” that aired earlier this week in the U.K. showed an undercover reporter Aremeyaw Anas giving a Ghana soccer official $65,000 in bribes. 

Kwesi Nyantakyi, the second most powerful official in African soccer and part of the Fifa Council, has been banned from soccer activities for 90 days. Ghana dissolved its football association after the report came out.

According to the BBC story, “he is the most prominent member of more than 100 football officials - most of them West African referees - receiving cash. Fifa rules forbid officials from receiving cash gifts.”

A Kenyan referee who was going to work at the World Cup also resigned after taking $600.

Ossoff, who runs Insight TWI, was in Ghana this past week to coordinate international response to security threats against the journalistic team that conducted the investigation. 

His company’s work specializes in stories about corrupt officials, organized crime and war crimes. 

In an interview, Ossoff said he chose not to run again for office, deciding to focus on his career and his upcoming wedding set for the fall. He said he has not endorsed either gun activist Lucy McBath or businessman Kevin Abel, who are vying for the Democratic candidacy against Handel for the 2018 election. But he is heartily supporting Stacey Abrams in the race for governor. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.