Soccer News of Tuesday, 26 August 2014


We will use Afriyie-Ankrah as guinea pig – Justice Dzamefe

The Commission of Inquiry into Ghana’s poor showing at the 2014 world cup tournament says the accounts given by former Youth and Sports Minister will form the heart of its recommendations to President John Mahama.

Mr. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah on Monday made his third and final appearance at the Commission’s hearing where he provided answers to questions ranging from how his outfit disbursed funds raised for the Black Stars’ participation in the tournament hosted in Brazil.

In his previous appearances on Wednesday and Thursday, the ex-Sports Minister said the decision to airlift over 600 supporters to Brazil was to cheer the national team but regretted the early exit of the team due to indiscipline at Team Ghana camp due disagreements and delay in payment of appearance fees.

Wednesday’s sitting also took an emotional turn, when Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah -now the now Minister of State at the Presidency- broke down in tears in his attempt to respond to a question regarding how he felt when the players refused to train for two days despite having a crucial group ‘G’ decider against Portugal.

Chairman of the Commission, Justice Senyo Dzamefe commended Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah for making an appearance and providing information he deemed useful, which will serve as the basis for their recommendations to the president to undertake certain reforms at the sector.

“We will use you as a guinea pig to make our corrections,” Justice Dzamefe said, mockingly.

Earlier today, the Commission indicated plans to invite some of artistes who accompanied the Black Stars to the tournament.

The artistes were chosen by the Sports Ministry as ambassadors to promote Ghana’s campaign in Brazil and participated in several events. But the Minister fell short of providing answers as to whether those artistes were also paid allowances in addition.

Faking tears

Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah also debunked claims he faked his tears when he broke down and sobbed at the hearing last Wednesday.

Some members of the public are of the view that Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah was simply engaging in drama and histrionics purposely to court public sympathy.

But responding to a question from Moses Foh-Amoaning, a member of the Commission as to what was his response to the claim that he faked the tears, Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah said: “My lord, we have 25 million Ghanaians [and] people are entitled to their views.

“Before God and man it was not planned, it was not premeditated".

According to him, the question that was directed at him “wasn’t even a difficult question but it triggered a lot of things”.

“I don’t even know how it started…Never in my wildest imagination will I think of doing something like that [crying in public],” the Minister said on his third appearance at the Commission hearing.

The Commission will hear the rest of his evidence in camera.