You are here: HomeNews2017 02 03Article 506556

Sports News of Friday, 3 February 2017


Politics in football bad - E.T. Mensah

Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Enoch Teye Mensah, has decried the creeping of partisan politics into sports activities in the country as worrying.

During the AFCON semi-final match between Ghana and Cameroon, social media was inundated with messages by Ghanaians in support of Cameroon.

It emerged that supporters of an opposition political party were praying for a loss for the Black Stars to prevent the team from progressing to win the AFCON trophy so that the governing party will not have bragging rights.

The idea of the governing party boasting that the Black Stars won the AFCON trophy during their administration resulted in some Ghanaians showing support for the Indomitable Lions.

Mr Mensah, who was speaking in an interview with Moro Awudu on Class FM’s Executive Breakfast Show after the Black Stars’ loss, said it was wrong. For him, politics must not divide Ghanaian and citizens must be patriotic to support sports activities no matter the political party in power.

Ghana’s longest serving sports minister said efforts were made during his tenure to defuse such tendencies.

“All Members of Parliament, whether NPP, NDC, came to me that they needed footballs. I did not discriminate. They needed football to train the young people and when they are trained the nation benefits,” he stated.

He continued: “Each time I gave 20 footballs to NPP members, I gave 20 to NDC and I also told them. I had a team together who will go out and organise tournaments. I had Afranie and Joe Kwarteng. When I became a minister, people came to accuse them of being NPP, but I found out that these are solid people. I knew their pedigree and we worked together.”

For him, sports must unite the country and should not create divisions among citizens.