No GFA official benefited from $3m – Afriyie Ankrah
The former minister for Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, says no Ghana Football Association (GFA) official benefited from the money that was flown to Brazil to pay the Black Stars players.
The government had airlifted the money reported to be around 3 million dollars to Brazil, to pay the appearance fees of the players of the Black Stars after they had threatened to boycott Ghana’s final group game against Portugal.
The players were reportedly paid an amount of 100 thousand dollars each, with reports claiming that officials of the Ghana Football Association also received a percentage of the amount.
However, Mr. Afriyie Ankrah, speaking to Paul Adom Otchere on Good Evening Ghana on Sunday, refuted the claims, saying that only the players and the members of the technical team received the money, adding that no GFA official had received some of the money.
According to him, the money, which was paid only to the players, was paid in cash because the players reneged on their agreement to have their winning bonuses paid into their Unibank accounts.
He also said the decision to pay the money to the players in cash was taken based on the advice of the coach Akwasi Appiah.
The former sports minister also denied accusations that he flew business class with his family while the players flew coach on the same plane.
He stated that his family, though they did join him in Brazil later, were not on the same flight as the players.
He said that the players “had a lot of fun” on the flight, saying that most of the players had decided not to sit in business class, although “there was enough space,” preferring to fly coach, where they could “stretch their seats.”
Reports had also claimed that the minister and a player had engaged in intimate relations with some of the female ambassadors.
Mr. Afriyie Ankrah again denied the claims, saying he did not set eyes on any of the ambassadors throughout their stay in Brazil.
“The only time I went to the ambassadors' hotel… the female ambassadors and Dumelo had gone to town.
“For the entire period I was in Brazil till today, I have not set my eyes, not even once, on any of those two female ambassadors.”
He further denied claims that Agyeman Badu, the Black Stars player in question, was intimate with any of the female ambassadors, as the players had no interaction with the ambassadors.
“The fan park was not in Maceio (where the players were based), the players were never at the fan park and could not have interacted with anybody.”
He added that unless “you had accreditation you couldn’t have access to the players.”