Sports News of 2014-08-26

Friend of govt provided plane for Brazil trip - Afriyie Ankrah

In a shocking development, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, former Minister of Youth and Sports has informed the Presidential Commission on the Brazil 2014 appearance of Ghana that “a friend of the government provided the plane” for the controversial last trip of supporters and officials which arrived in Brazil after the nation had been eliminated from the tournament.

The embattled former Sports Minister made the surprising disclosure while answering questions from the three man commission on the third day of his appearance before the commission.

Answering a question from the Commission Chairman, Justice Senyo Dzamefe on what he thought about the flight of the 26th. July which arrived in Brasilia after Ghana had been knocked out of the competition, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah informed the Commission that he preferred to answer that question in-camera and provide the details to the commission on that controversial flight, but stated that the flight was sponsored by a “friend of the government”.

“My Lord, I would like to answer that question in-camera but just something small which the public can know is that a friend of government made his plane available for that trip”, he told the Commission.

The last flight to Brazil which had officials like Kojo Adu-Asare, representative of the chief of staff on the World Cup planning committee and who doubled as leader of delegation for that questionable trip, generated a lot controversy when news broke that the supporters ferried to Brazil, only arrived after Ghana had been eliminated while at the same time, the government had failed to provide transport for the hundreds of Ghanaians who were already in Brazil to go and support Ghana in its last game against Portugal.

Elvis’s revelation about the "friend of government" who sponsored this trip brings up many other questions on whether this sponsor also took care of the accommodation, feeding and other expenses of the officials and supporters who were on the particular flight or whether those costs were borne by the state.

The revelation also brings back memories of similar issues during the 2010 World Cup where the government attributed the airlifting of some supporters to a philanthropist, only for that philanthropist to be identified months later as Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome, who was paid a controversial judgment debt months before his sponsorship of the Ghanaian supporters.

Source: Kwame Ntim
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