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Sports News of Tuesday, 25 June 2019


Brazil WC: $3m could've been wired electronically to Black Stars – Terkper

Seth Terkper, former Minister of Finance Seth Terkper, former Minister of Finance

Ghana’s Minister of Finance in the erstwhile Mahama administration, Mr Seth Terkper has said the country can learn lessons from the Brazil 2014 incident in which the government was forced to fly physical cash of $3 million to the players during the tournament to forestall their boycott of the game over nonpayment of their appearance fees.

The players had threatened at the time to boycott their last match against Portugal.

Ghana became the butt of international mockery after flying the cash to the players, some of whom were captured on camera kissing wads of dollars.

The Black Stars were eventually knocked out of the tournament as they failed to progress beyond the group stages but the challenges experienced at the time rocked football in the country.

A committee was eventually established to dissect the problems experienced at the tournament and make recommendations.

As the Black Stars prepare for their first match against Benin at the ongoing 2019 Afcon tournament in Egypt on Tuesday, 25 June 2019, Mr Terkper, who sent well wishes to the team, indicated that the past experiences should serve as a guideline for improving the performance of the national team.

Mr Terkper, who was a guest on the Executive Breakfast Show on Class91.3FM, told Benjamin Akakpo that 2014 was the era when efforts were being made to stop manual processing of payments.

“It used to be that even employees were paid in cash, especially those at very low levels. Everybody was required to have a bank account but we didn’t have a very solid electronic means of payment to support it until we brought in the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS),” he said.

He continued: “That was the era when we could have made transfers to various accounts for the players and that is where I talk about financial management and also talked about planning”.

He said planning and effective strategy deployment is very important and the failure was “not so much about what happened there but the fiscal constraints and the inability to make financial allocations ahead of time”.

The former minister said if the state agrees to the payment of bonuses, it should be done and “it does not have to involve carrying money”.

He is, therefore, advocating extended electronic financial inclusion because the world has moved on to an electronic era which has more advanced controls and improved systems.

Mr Terkper also pointed out that “money has become the game” in modern football.

For him, the country needs to rebrand the Black Stars and exploit the commercial aspect of football “to bring in money to support the team, so, it is entirely not a state affair”.