The International Games and Competition Committee (IGCC) of the Ministry of Youth and Sports has denied female taekwondo athlete, Eunice Adedapo, the chance to participate in the upcoming African Games after it rejected a sponsorship package from a benefactor to enable her to compete.
Eunice was part of a seven-member team initially selected by the Ghana Taekwondo Federation (GTF) to compete at this month’s games but was dropped after the IGCC reduced to five the quota reserved for taekwondo.
The directive to slash the size of the team due to financial constraints compelled the GTF to choose three male and two female athletes, leaving Eunice as one of two casualties for the continental showpiece in Rabat, Morocco.
Double agony for Eunice
Information available to the Daily Graphic reveals that an individual sponsor, Winfred Ayitey, who promised to sponsor the athlete’s return airfare, accommodation and per diem to enable her to participate at the African Games has been that the offer had been turned down by the IGCC.
“There has been another slashing by the IGCC from the seven athletes that we were allocated, to five on the basis of financial constraints.
“It started from 10 [athletes], then it was cut down to seven but as I speak to you now, taekwondo can only present five athletes for the African Games per what we have been allocated,” the source explained.
Eunice’s situation adds to the numerous complaints by some federation heads about the continuous slashing of the contingent for the August 19 to September 1 games, with reports indicating that the committee had settled on 14 disciplines out of an initial 17.
Like Eunice, many other athletes have been axed from the competition following the decision to reduce the size of Ghana’s contingent with restricted sporting disciplines on grounds of ensuring that Ghana sends only athletes capable of winning medals at the games.
The national amateur boxing team, Black Bombers, have also been reduced to 10 boxers, while fencing will present four athletes for the games.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s Chef de Mission for the games, Rev. Richmond Quarcoo, says he is unaware the offter to sponsor Eunice had been rejected.
He told the Daily Graphic yesterday that he knew the GTF had officially notified the IGCC about the female athlete’s unique case but was not aware a decision had been taken on it by the committee.