Sports News of Saturday, 27 January 2007
Silence on financial details of WC campaign
The Black Stars' sensational World Cup campaign, from the qualification series to the final showdown in Germany, has left in its trail a huge financial disaster.
Beyond the glamour and the fame engendered during the tournament was a huge loss of nearly ¢40 billion purported to have been committed into efforts qualifying for the tournament and participation in Germany 2006.
At a GFA Executive Committee meeting in Accra recently, it was revealed that Ghana's qualification and participation cost the goverment in excess of ¢63 billion.
Graphic Sports investigations have, however, revealed that out of the $4.5 million that FIFA paid to the GFA, $2.5 million had been paid to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, with the FA itself settling for an amount of $1.6 million.
The remaining $400,000 allegedly went into the payment of bonuses for the players and officials.
FIFA's own regulations governing the World Cup stipulate that the financial largesse it makes available to participating nations as appearance fees should be paid back to the authorities that commit funds for ensuring qualification and participation, to enable them plough back their funds.
Thus, in Africa where Football Associations are impoverished, the governments which often take the responsibility of sponsoring national teams for their World Cup campaigns largely become the ultimate beneficiaries of FIFA?s world cup appearance fees.
Ghana's qualification and appearance at the second round earned the FA a total of 5.5million euros about ($6 million).
But out of the amount FIFA made deductions to cover expenses for the upkeep of the contingent whilst in Germany and fines which, sources revealed, came up to a frightening $12,000.
Apart from several yellow cards attracted by the Stars during the tournament, the red card attracted by Asamoah Gyan in the match against the Czech Republic, and the expulsion of Coach Ratomir Dujkovic in the Stars-Brazil game during recess, were said to have contributed immensely to the huge fines.
The GFA, according to official sources, entered into an agreement with the Ministry of Education and Sports to pay back all government pre-finances from what it would earn from FIFA.
And true to that the FA paid the $2.5million to the Sports Ministry after what sources described as an intense haggle.
Meanwhile, sources at the Executive Committee of the F A claim that after nearly six months after the World Cup, the Executive Committee is yet to be furnished with the financial details of the campaign, resulting in some discordant voices being heard at their last meeting over the disbursment of the funds that accrued from the World Cup without the committee's approval.
The Committee is also said to be demanding full income and expenditure accounts of all monies contributed by corporate institutions, those earned from pre and post- World Cup international friendly matches of the Black Stars and total expenditure on bonuses during the World Cup.
But the Emergency Committee of the FA, according to authentic sources assured that an audited account would soon be presented as soon as the auditors completed their work.