Sports Features of 2014-06-13

Afriyie Ankrah, "Ka Nokware Na Ghana Abre"

Ghana will start its world cup matches on the 16th of this month against USA and the Players need our spiritual, financial and physical support and Ghanaians will be behind them all the way. This article has less to do with the Blackstars players but rather got more to do with the blatant corruption and plain stealing by the Minister of Sports and his assigns.

We have all heard about the 70 Blackstars contingent, the so called Ambassadors and the 500 supporters all going to live on Taxpayers dollars in Brazil. Apart from the 70 Blackstars contingent, it is a waste of money to send 500 Ndc supporters and the so called Celebrities masqueraded as Ambassadors to go and live in Brazil on our taxes.

I listened to Peacefm Radio interview of John Dumelor, one of the 'Volunteers' who presumably has raised more than $2 million to send some supporters to Brazil on 06/12/14.

According to this Actor Volunteer, they received an appointment letter to volunteer their services to raise money about six weeks ago. During the interview, I learned that, what they really did was to do a follow up to some letters that have been sent to corporations and individuals by the Sports Ministry, they did not call their 'well connected rich friends' soliciting for donations but were acting as Messengers from the Sports Ministry to go and collect on an already sent letters asking for donations and in so doing, these volunteers were given the chance to go to Brazil. Does these People know what volunteer work entails?

When the Host of the program asked John if they were paid any money or promised of any benefit, John revealed that their ambassadorial work is purely voluntary – they received no pay. “On the letter of appointment, it was indicated that it’s a voluntary work. There was no pay in it” . Oh! really?

When the Host followed this question and asked John if he will go to Brazil and he said YES, he was asked again if he was being sponsored by the Ministry of Sports or he was paying his way, he became agitated and accused the Host of the program of trying to push him to the wall. John even said that their appointment letter said they will get a chance of going to Brazil if they accept to do this so called voluntary work but to him that was not payment. The promise to send them to Brazil was a benefit or an inducement so it is wrong for John Dumelor to say that they did not receive any payment for their so called Volunteer work that came to $20,000 per Volunteer. I don't even think John Dumelor would have made that huge amount in three movies and he is not calling that as payment?

"According to the World Cup Planning Committee, the Ambassadors, Jackie Appiah, John Dumelo and Becca will be using their iconic status to boost the morale of the Black Stars during the tournament. An amount of $20,000 is alleged to have been budgeted to cater for each of the three."

Folks, your Sports Minister Afriyie Ankrah and his Officials including some from GFA won the lottery the moment Blackstars qualified for this tournament. If all the thirteen so called Volunteers accept to go to Brazil, that is $260,000 of your tax money but the question is; If the 500 supporters are going to cost $6,000 each, why are these Ambassadors costing $20,000 each and some Officials are even going to cost $29,000 per head from the 70 Blackstars Contingent.

Afiriyie Ankra knew from the onset that, he was going to send some NDC supporters and this raising the funds from the cooperate body is just a smokescreen because the $9.5 million the Ministry of Sports gave to GFA included the amount needed to transport these supporters because the Blackstars and its Officials expenses are taken care by FIFA.In 2014, FIFA increased the preparation amount to $1.5 million which the GFA has received already. The team is guaranteed $8 million more already even if we lose all three of our group matches so that is $9.5 million coming from FIFA and the government has also given $9.5 million so that is $19 million. If the Volunteers have raised another $2 million, then our budget is now over $21 million.

The kicker and where the corruption is being perpetrated is when the Sports Ministry said they will not ask the GFA to return their $9.5 million because they knew from the onset that, that is a money they were going to use for themselves and not our Players or Officials because the Players bonuses and appearance fees are all being paid by FIFA so why do we need another $9.5 million from the Sports Ministry if they are not using our Blackstars to steal?

In 2006, one million was given earlier to Ghana towards preparation. The Blackstars reached the round of 16 and earned $9 million more, so FIFA gave Ghana $10 million in 2006. In 2010, FIFA again gave Ghana one million for preparation. We reached the round of 8 and earned $14 million. Therefore we earned $15 million not the $11 million GFA and the Minister of Sports declared. All these information are available at the FIFA site but nobody in Ghana has asked Ama Densuah, who was the Sports Minister at that time or Kwesi Nyantakyi the discrepancy of the figures they told Ghanaians and what the FIFA website shows.

Ghana is going to hear the same stories as we heard in 2010 in South Africa where the Sports Minister, Ama Densuah sent his Driver, Bodyguard, Cook and her daughter to South Africa to watch the soccer matches at taxpayers expense.

Do you remember the same Ministry telling Ghanaians in 2010 that the government was not going to send the 3000 supporters to South Africa but some Philanthropists were paying to send these supporters? We later came to find out Woyome was paid the settlement debt money to use some of that amount to send these Ndc supporters to South Africa and still the Sports Ministry billed Ghana Taxpayers for the supporters expenses.

We did not hear about Ghana sending 500 supporters to Brazil until the NDC Supporters got angry about their party paying $20,000 each to send John Dumelor, Jackie Appiah and Becca instead of Mr Beautiful and others they thought are more NDC supporters than these three.It was reported that angry NDC activist of the party have vandalized part of the Minister of Sports’ office and manhandled a senior official of the Ministry over the fact that not even a single ticket was given to the NDC to be given to its supporters to also travel to Brazil to watch the world cup! These Ndc fool soldiers most of them who don't even have a job are going to be sent to Brazil at a cost of $6000 each and when they come back from Brazil, will go back to their illegal activities including armed robbery.

When are we going to say enough is enough to these 'armed robbers' prancing around with Honourable titles?

Justice Sarpong

(CARDINAL of TRUTH)