How did you fail with $4.5m when $3.3m took us to semi finals – Okudzeto questions Asiamah
Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has questioned the logic in spending US$4.5m on the Black Stars to get knocked out at the round-16 stage when US$3.3m took them to the semi-final stage at the 2017 African Cup Nations.
In 2017, the former Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye presented US$3.4 million as the Black Stars budget for the 2017 AFCON slashing it from the $5.4m budget presented by the Ghana Football Association for the tournament after consultation with the Finance Ministry.
Faced with this financial difficulty, the team managed to seal a semi-final berth and paid all expenses including 11 days camp in UAE, bonuses and appearance fees for the players as well as flying some fans for the tournament.
In light of the humongous spending at the just ended 2019 AFCON where Ghana showcased an abysmal performance since 2006, Hon. Okudzeto has called for an in-depth probe into the team’s budget for the tournament. He also called on the Sports Minister, Isaac Asiamah to account for the monies which were spent on the Black Stars despite failing to accomplish the set target.
He said, “At the last tournament, the 2017 AFCON, this house was presented a budget by the then Sports Minister of $3.3 million, how is it that the Hon. Minister budgeted for about 100% of $6.2 million dollars even though the Minister told us that $4.56 million was utilized. The question, therefore, is, if in 2017 we spend $3.3 million and we got to the semi-finals and now we have spent $4.56 million and we only got to the round 16 stage, not even the quarter-finals.”
“Mr Speaker, like many Ghanaians we have to probe these figures further and I agree with the honourable ranking member that it will be useful to have the breakdown,” the MP added.
Mr Ablakwa also called for further interrogation into why an agency named White Oak Limited was chosen to air-lift fans to Egypt when the Sports Ministry could have handled that and save the country more money.