What appears to be a good atmosphere ahead of Friday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Cranes of Uganda has been muddied by the latest move by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to present a blank budget to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) in a bid to clear its name.
Having been labeled as corrupt, the FA feels the best way to clear its name is to desist from the usual drawing of budget proposals for matches involving the national team and leave the cost to be determined by MoYS.
As a result, the FA presented a blank budget to the Ministry few days ahead of the crucial 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Uganda to be played at the Tamale Sports Stadium on Friday.
On Monday night when the Youth and Sports Minister, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, appeared on GTV’s Sports Highlights programme, his demeanour suggested the feud between the FA and the MoYS had ceased following calls from many quarters, including the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) to end the dispute.
The Minister told the Host, Kwabena Yeboah about collaboration between the two bodies to ensure the Stars prepare well for the game as well as urging the fans to forget about events of the past and throng the stadium to support the team.
But the FA’s action plus an interview granted by FA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi to Accra based radio station, Hot FM, yesterday only suggests there are still undercurrents that could ruin Ghana’s campaign to make a fourth appearance at the World Cup.
Sources within the corridors of the two bodies confirmed the preparation of a blank budget by the ministry with Nyantakyi explaining in the interview that should end the speculation that the FA was corrupt.
In the proposal presented by the FA, items including flight and feeding arrangements, hotel accommodation, and others had no cost components attached.
Per this, the Ministry would be required to tackle the administrative and protocol processes while the FA restrict itself to the team’s preparation for the big game.
The FA boss and new FIFA Council member said the FA is fed up with the regular indictment of inflating figures for Black Stars matches and now demanding that the ministry draws up its own budget with focus on the above specifics.
“We need no reminder from the ministry that the Black Stars belongs to the government and Ghanaians as a whole. We have been ridiculed and accused of being corrupt and so we have presented the document to the ministry so they can fill in with the figures.”
According to Mr. Nyantakyi, the FA has no problems with the minister but have just not been happy with his public outburst on matters of the FA and the national teams.
“Anytime we draw up a budget, we are viewed as thieves and so we want them to do their own thing,” he added.
By Andrew Nortey