Hockey News of Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Source: Daily Graphic

Hockey team off for World Cup without money

The Under-21 national female hockey team departed the shores of Ghana to Germany yesterday to participate in the 7th Female Hockey Junior World Cup without receiving a dime from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Daily Graphic can confirm.

The team needed GH¢138,000 to embark on this national assignment and had earlier presented a budget to the ministry for support, but did not receive the needed support as of departure time.

The sad thing was that all efforts by the Hockey Association to get a guarantee from the ministry to go for a loan, as was done for the Satellites prior to the Turkey tournament, had proved futile.

During an interaction with the players and technical handlers at the National Hockey Stadium last Wednesday, the Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, while admitting that there was no money in the national kitty, gave a firm assurance that the government would provide the necessary support to enable the team to participate in the tournament.

Mr Afriyie Ankrah, however, failed to honour his promise, confirming speculations that the government would not be able to provide the needed funds for the competition.

Reports indicated that the team was frustrated and that adversely affected morale in camp. Though a chunk of the Ghanaian contingent left yesterday, most of the officials were left behind to chase for funds to pay for the bills in Germany.

This is Ghana’s maiden appearance at the World Cup after qualifying early this year in South Africa and are in Group A with The Netherlands, USA and Korea.

The team will play its opening group match against The Netherlands on Saturday.