Sports Features of Mon, 17 Jul 20170
Meet the Youth and Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah (2)
This is the concluding part of the one-on-one interview the Youth and Sports Minister, Mr Isaac Kwame Asiamah, had with Graphic Sports’ Beatrice Laryea.
During your vetting, you talked about creating a sports fund which you have done. What are the responsibilities of the Sports Fund Committee and what has it achieved so far?
IKA: The national Sports Fund Committee has been meeting and we have charged the members to look for areas of possible revenue-generating activities and so far I think they are on course. Many countries have used sports lotto as a way of generating funds and there are many other areas that the committee is looking at and they will make recommendations to the ministry after which I will send it to Cabinet and Parliament for legal backing then we will take it up from there.
Why the budget for the national amateur boxing team, the Black Bombers, for their participation in the Congo games, not honoured?
IKA: That is not entirely true. I am told there are other qualifiers that will enable them to. There are so many competitions ahead. I have not left them entirely. I am still engaging them, I am still a father to all the sporting federations. I am not at war with anybody. We just need to do the right thing.
Some of your predecessors encountered challenges at this ministry which caused them their jobs. Will your story be different?
IKA: As for me, I have said that God is always in control so I will do my best; however, it is Ghanaians who will mark me. The President has given me a job to do so I will do my best. I have my own unique way of handling issues; definitely my story will be different.
There were issues and concerns raised about Black Stars’ recent friendly matches against Mexico and USA, especially the difficulty in getting all the players on board one plane and accommodation issues. What happened?
IKA: Well, I am against the situation whereby we pay so much for hotel accommodation for national team coaches. This time round this government is committed to providing a permanent residential facility for anybody who becomes the coach of the senior national team. Already, high-level discussions have taken place regarding that and I have written to the Minister for Works and Housing who has assured me that he is working on it so it will be done.
What is your impression about the leadership of the Ghana Football Association?
IKA: They have their strengths and weaknesses and when there are issues I engage them and we dialogue over them. As a minister, I can’t sit here and be lambasting and attacking a federation under me. My style is to fix the challenges and not to attack people. I am a team player and I always want the people that I work with to come together to resolve issues. My aim is to clean the GFA, not to fight anybody.
Do you by any chance suspect some foul play in the activities of the GFA as was propagated by your predecessor, Nii Lante Vanderpuye?
IKA: Why not? We do but on the quiet. We discuss issues when there is the need. Not only with him but I do discuss issues with other former Youth and Sports Ministers such as Messrs Yaw Osafo-Maafo, O. B. Amoah, Mohammed Muntaka, E. T. Mensah and Paapa Owusu Ankomah, among others. Occasionally, I ask their opinion on issues or challenges that I am facing. I am in touch with most of the former ministers.
What inspires you in life or where do you draw inspiration from?
IKA: When I see or read about a leader who believes in achievements and one who acts more than talking I am inspired.
What is your level of education and what about honours or awards?
IKA: I am married with children. That’s enough so what is your problem…hahahahaha.
So where do you fellowship?
IKA: I am an Anglican. I fellowship at St Mary’s Anglican Church in my constituency.
What do you do during your leisure time?
IKA: Though I am from the forest area (laughs) I enjoy swimming and I also like the local Ghanaian movies (Kumawood) so I watch them whenever I am free.
For us at Graphic Sports, we wish you all the best in your new office and we pray that you succeed beyond measure?
IKA: I am also proud of all of you at Graphic Sports for the many years of contribution to sports development in Ghana. My doors are open so come for whatever information or clarification you may need.