You are here: HomeSports2014 08 23Article 322506

Sports Features of Saturday, 23 August 2014

Source: Sarpong, Justice

The Three Amigos World Cup Robbery Thwarted

In 2010, Afriyie Ankrah watched Akua Densuah, then the Sports Minister laughed all the way to the Bank so he thought 2014 was his time to cash in himself. I told Ghanaians in plain language in about three different articles that the 2014 Blackstars budget was a daytime robbery "manufactured" at the high desk at the Presidency that even a midget on his knees could see the President signature and Presidential emblem prominently embossed on.

Our leaders know Ghanaians have short memories and our emotions seem to be our thinking faculties. Make us happy and you can indulge in all kinds of corruption and we would not care. Why am I saying this? Do you think there would have been a commission or committee of inquiry of Blackstars would have performed well like reaching quarter finals or semi finals in Brazil? HELL NO, WE WOULD NOT HAVE CALLED FOR ONE BECAUSE WE WOULD HAVE BEEN CELEBRATING UP TILL NOW FOR REACHIG THE SEMI-FINAL. It would have been a heresy for anybody to call for any accountability and the one that dare to call for one would have been 'lynched', literally.

Before I continue, I want readers to read what the present Sports Minister who used to be the Information Minister said about the Ministry of Sports budget to Blackstars .

"Approved Black Stars budget is not a loan – Government’s spokesman

Information Minister Mahama Ayariga says the approved $9.8m for the Black Stars’ campaign at the 2014 World Cup is a grant and not a loan. This means the government will not be demanding the return of these funds when FIFA awards Ghana its share of the price money for the 2014 World Cup.

The state approved about $19m for the last World Cup in South Africa. And though all the approved allocation was not exhausted, the Ghana FA were made to return the financial gains made after the tournament four years ago."

Now read what the same thieves are telling us.

"MOYS Worldcup Commission

It has emerged at the Presidential Commission investigating matters related to the 2014 World Cup appearance that government spent only $471,130.39 on the Black Stars at the tournament, figure far less than earlier reports had suggested.Responding to questions from the three man commission, the Chief Accountant of the Ministry, Mr. Prosper Apasu provided a breakdown of the actual expenditure the State incurred on the appearance of the Black Stars at the Brazil Mundial.

Mr. Kpasu disclosed that the government spent a total of $4,474,891.47 but noted that since this is inclusive of the loan the government extended to the GFA, it meant that government spent only $471,130.39."

Why the contradictions now? When did the grant convert into a loan? It became a loan the moment government was caught with its own lies. Folks, the simple explanation is that, the Ministry of Sports and this government knew that Blackstars don't need the government to bear the expenses of Blackstars because FIFA pays for Blackstars expenses from preparation stage where $1.5 million is made available to the team for camping and all their hotel bills when they get to the host country. The team was also guaranteed $8 million even if they lose all their three matches and the Players APPEARANCE FEES are paid from this amount. The government has no business budgeting anything for Blackstars but they do because it is an avenue for stealing.

When the good citizens of Ghana were grumbling about the four million dollars that chartered the Presidential plane as "DROPPING", why didn't the government tell us the citizens to calm down because this is a loan that will be paid back when the FIFA money comes in?

Why did the President insist of committee inquiry instead of commission inquiry? With commission inquiry, whatever comes out, those found to have committed crimes according to my understanding cannot be prosecuted as happened in the case of the 50th Independence anniversary celebration inquiry where the government could not prosecute anybody and Mahama is telling us he is fighting corruption. What is he afraid of that made him insist on commission of inquiry instead of committee investigation where people found to have stole money could have been prosecuted?

FIFA don't want any government of member country to interfere in the operations of its members FA and that is why it finance their operations.

The government is well aware the Blackstars don't need its largesse so why did the government tell the team it will not ask for the money it advanced to the team back? This is where the government stealing of Ghanaian Taxpayers money would have taken place. The three entities, Mahama, Afriyie Ankrah and Kwesi Nyantakyi would have pocketed the government budget since they have told Ghanaians that the money to Blackstars was free and would have paid all the Blackstars expenses from the money the team won from the tournament. In our celebrating mood if the Blackstars would have done well, this plan would have worked to perfection because there would noy have been any investigation. Why is this government deviating from the previous arrangement where money given to Blackstars in 2006 and 2010 were loans that were paid back? The reason is that, the same arrangements would have been followed like 2006 and 2010 but this time instead of the money going back to the government coffers, the money would have ended in the pockets of few individuals including the three people mentioned in this article.

The information coming out of the Presidential commission shows how corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of the Ghanaian society and a social canker that needs a major surgery to address it instead of the feel good investigative bodies whose findings always ends up in the attic of somebody's house.

Four million dollars($4million) was transported to Brazil to pay the Players and the Technical Staff Appearance money of $100,000 each to 33 people, comprising 23 Players and ten Technical Staff members, that will total $3.3 million. Now it has come out 7 committee members also benefitted from this money by $82,500 each. That leaves a balance of $112,500. Why do we pay committee members appearance fees? The most insulting aspect of this robbery is that, the balance of $112,500 was shared by some few people at the GFA committee members who didn't get the chance to go to Brazil as their APPEARANCE FEES. Are we serious as a nation? Where did they APPEAR to get APPEARANCE FEES? Why should we give APPEARANCE FEES to committee members?

The news coming out of Afriyie Ankrah's testimony at the commission shows how endemic corruption is embedded at the Ministry of Sports.

I said it before that, the government has been mingling its expenses with Blackstars so that the Mafia like clannish crime can be visited on the good People of Ghana. Why was Afiriyie Ankrah crying at the commission on Thursday August 21st? He was caught in lies and that guy is just a shell of his proud self.

In future if we are lucky to qualify for the world cup, the GFA should source funds from the Banks as a loan with the FIFA guaranteed prize as surety and cut the government out from its business.

If the government wants to reward the Players and the Technical team, it should do so only after the tournament and the Ministry of Sports budget should not be more than $250,000-$500,000 million dollars for the five to ten officials it will send to accompany the team. This is not brain surgery.

Justice Sarpong