Sports Features of 2014-04-09

GFA And Min. of Sports On Money Stealing Rampage

The Ministry of Sports and Ghana football Association take Ghanaians for fools or else the spokesman for GFA would not have said this;

The budget details for the Black Stars participation at the 2014 World Cup is a state secret, according to Ibrahim Sannie Daara.

“As we speak now those figures speculated in the media have got no legs to stand on,” Sannie said in a debate on the state-owned Ghana Television. “I’d say with no equivocation that as I sit here as Director of Communications of the GFA, I’ve not seen the breakdown.The Chief of Staff has said that this is a state secret and if someone brings it and if I am not able to authenticate it, I will say that person s carrying a false document.

Really? The budget of Blackstars expenses is a state secret? Why am I surprised, it is a secret because Ghanaians are being taken to the cleaners by GFA and the Ministry of Sports who have colluded to steal the country dry.

It was reported about a month ago that the government of Ghana has given the GFA and Sports Ministry about $10 million for the world cup tournament. According to the Minister of Information, this $10 million was approved by the government. A few days later, the information minister released another report clarifying that the about $10 million was going to be given to the sports authorities not as a loan, but as a free offer to the sports authorities.If the said amount is not a loan, then that means Blackstars already have $19.5 million to play with. Folks, even if the Blackstars lose all its three group matches, the minimum it has earned so far as a qualifying team is $9.5 million, $8.0 million given to all the 32 teams plus $1.5 million as preparation expenses, this is not even counting the appearance fees FIFA give to the teams for their friendly matches. That means we earned a certain amount of fees on our last friendly match with Montenegro, that could be as low as $100,000 or as much as $1.0 million. We are going to earn more money on our subsequent friendly matches coming up including the one with Holland that can put one million dollars more in Blackstars account, these are some of the information our Sports Authourities are not telling Ghanaians.

It is because of these appearance fees that we don't see the Blackstars playing their friendly matches in Ghana because if they play in USA or the European countries, they earn higher appearance fees.

About a week after the government reported the $10 million gift to the sports authorities, it was reported in the media that the GFA (and by extension, the Ministry of Sports) was given about $15 million ($1 million for preparation and $14 million for reaching the last eight) by FIFA and $19 million by the government of Ghana for the 2010 world cup. This made a total of $34 million given to the GFA and Sports Ministry for the 2010 world cup not counting the appearance fees we earned from friendly matches played and that is why ESPN and The Guardian newspapers reported that, Blackstars earned $18.0 million and not the $11.0 million as reported by the GFA and the Sports Ministry who have failed to respond about this confusion .

But with all the news and arguments concerning the finances of the 2010 world cup, one would think that the current Ghana government will be looking more critically at the 2014 world cup expenditures and other financial transactions. Contrary to normal reasoning, the government astonishingly decided to give the sports authorities $9.6 million without any accountability for the 2014 world cup. The GFA and Sports Ministry are yet to make public why they need the $9.6 million; let's bear in mind that all tournament expenses are footed by FIFA for a contingent of up to fifty for the participating nations. This is excluding the prize monies.

So the question is, why did the government of Ghana feel the need to give the sports authorities this free money? This question keeps coming up, because Ghana, currently, is facing serious economic crisis. The hospitals lack basic needs, let alone critical systems. Electricity and water are lacking. A large portion of pupils attend school under trees. There are financial problems everywhere. Yet, the government felt the need to give about $10 million, unaccounted for, to the sports authorities who do not need this money. I repeat, this $10 million is not needed by the sports authorities. But can you blame the sports authorities?

It is hard to blame them; they are not expected to be angels. The government, which is the executive branch, does not seem to have asked the necessary questions; this is the best you can ascribe to the government. The legislature is too busy about nothing and hurriedly approved what was presented to them. The populace is numb with persistent unresponsive authorities and agencies. Almost the entire nation of Ghana seem to be in a slumber. A few who can muster the courage to be alert seize the opportunity to exploit the apathy and despair of the entire nation.

How then do you address this blatant financial plunder by the sports authorities. Is it folly to want to get things right where there is numbly blissful ignorance and apathy? In a society where everyone is looking for a chance to cun another person, can you blame the sports authorities for taking advantage of what every Ghanaian would like to take advantage of? Well, the truth is that the nation of Ghana will run herself into utter destruction if this tide of criminality is not stemmed. What needs be done is to put pressure on the government and the members of parliament to stop the corrupt activities. These are the only ways and means to save Ghana.

Justice Sarpong

(CARDINAL of TRUTH)

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