Asiamah to render account on Ghana's 2019 AFCON campaign before Parliament
Ghanaians will know perhaps know at first hand for the first time, what went wrong and importantly, how much was spend on Ghana’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign with the Minister for Youth and Sports, Isaac Kwame Asiamah set to appear before Parliament either on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Hon Asiamah has been invited by Parliament to answer questions and explain what led to the Black Stars botched AFCON campaign, which was expected to end with the winning of the fifth AFCON title after 37 years and for which it earned the Presidential Project of ‘Year of Return’ campaign.
While many will be interested in knowing what led to the Stars' disappointing exit, it is the budget, which has been an elusive issue, that will attract more attention, given that neither the MOYS of the Normalisation Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) was ready to divulge any information on the figures, prior to the Stars’ participation in the competition staged in Egypt.
Different figures have been bandied around in the media ranging from $8million to $10.5million as the 2019 AFCON was one of the competitions that saw organized supporters group being sponsored to Egypt by the tax payers money.
However, the actual number of fans who were flown out to Egypt was not disclosed, but that could be made known as well if that question is asked on the floor of the Legistlature.
Apart from the numbers, the Minister is also likely to explain why the fans stayed on in Egypt for almost a week after the Stars had been eliminated at the Round of 16 stage by Tunisia and the Minister
Also, expected to pop up is the future of the Stars coach, James Kwasi Appiah whose contract expires at the end of December 2019.
The Majority leader explained parliament has been arranging an appropriate schedule for the minister to answer such questions even before MPs like Kumbungu legislator Ras Mubarak raised it in Parliament.
“I have been in communication with the minister and the agreement had already been done,” the Leader of Parliament, Hon Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu revealed.
“ The only matter left is a choice between Tuesday and Wednesday,” he said.
The Round of 16 exit was the worse performance from the Stars since AFCON 2006, incidentally staged in Egypt as the Stars have been regular semi-finalists in the past five tournaments, with two final berths.
As four-time champions, the and due to their previous record, the Stars were among the favourites at the competition but after five points from their three group matches against Benin (2-2), Cameroun (0-0) and Guinea Bissau (2-0), they were eliminated at the Round of 16 stage by Tunisia on penalties.
The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament of Atwima Mponua Constituency had led the ‘Year of Return’ campaign and gave the highest assurance at the Jubilee House when the President hosted the team to a farewell reception, that the Stars were going to lift the trophy and end Ghana's agonising wait for a fifth since last winning it in 1982.