The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday, November 13, delivered the budget statement for the year 2020.
The Finance Minister highlighted some of achievements of the government and also detailed how it intends to run the country in the next twelve months.
Conspicuously, missing from the 284-page document is the budget allocation for the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Ken Ofori Atta however announced that the government will provide support to the various national teams.
“In 2020, the Ministry will facilitate the qualification and participation of all the National Football Teams in various international tournaments including the Black Stars preparation and qualification to the 2021 African Cup of Nations Tournament in Cameroon, the 2022 World Cup Tournament in Qatar, the participation of the Black Stars Team "B" in the 2020 CHAN Cup of Nations Tournament in Cameroun, the qualification of the U-20 Football Team to the 2021 U-20 AFCON in Mauritania and the qualification of the Black Starlets to the 2021 U-17 AFCON in Morocco. 979”.
“The Ministry will facilitate the participation of the Black Princesses as well as the Black Maidens in their respective 2020 Women's World Cup Qualifying Tournaments.
Interesting to note that Black Stars B did not qualify for the 2020 CHAN hence will not participate in the tournament contrary to the Finance Minister’s assertions.
The budget for Ministry of Youth and Sports witnessed 33 percent increment from GH¢32,799,500 in 2018 to GH¢43,795,04.
Ken Ofori-Atta also made mention of the construction of ten sports centres of excellence.
Mr. Speaker, sports continue to be one of the key unifying factors in our country, bringing all of us together as one irrespective of our differences. I am pleased to announce Mr. Speaker that Ghana is currently hosting the Confederation of African Football Women’s Nations Cup and we have also won the bid to host the 2023 All African Games”.
“Mr. Speaker, the Accra Sports Stadium has been renovated after a decade of neglect; finally, sports loving Ghanaians can go to the stadium and safely watch their favourite teams play. Government has additionally invested in 10 youth and sports centres of excellence in each of the 10 regions of Ghana which are at various stages of completion”.
Aside slashing the Sports Ministry’s budget by 32%, the Finance Minister announced the creation of the National Sports Fund to finance sporting activities in the country.
Ofori-Atta said the fund will be used to improve sports development in the country.
"In 2018, the Ministry will continue the process of passing the Legislative Instruments of the National Youth and Sports Act, pursue the enactment of the draft National Sports College Bill and create a Sports Fund to improve sports development in the country.
There was however no update on the National Sports Fund in the 2019 Budget and the Ministry of Youth and Sports has at no point commented on the said fund.