It has emerged that Ghana spent an amount of US$3.1 million at the just ended Africa Nations Cup (AFCON) tournament held in Gabon.
This came to light at yesterday’s vetting of the Youth and Sports Minister-designate, Isaac Asiamah in Parliament.
The actual amount/budget for Ghana’s preparation and participation has been shrouded in controversy with conflicting budgets emerging at various times.
Even when it was first posed to the Minister-designate by Member of Parliament for Bodi Constituency in the Western Region the actual amount spend on Ghana’s delegation at the competition, he declined, arguing that he would be in a better position to give the figure after he has been approved by Parliament.
But questions from immediate past Youth and Sports minister, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, under whose leadership the budget was prepared forced Asiamah to make a u-turn to respond to the questions he had decided to stay off.
Reading from a document signed by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Asiamah revealed that per the budget made available to him, Ghana was to spend US$4.4million.
But following successful negotiation with players over nationwide calls to reduce the amounts paid to players as bonuses, players agreed to a 50 per cent slash.
By this arrangement, Mr. Asiamah revealed that Ghana spent a total of US$3.1million, in the process saving the state an amount of $1.4.
Mr. Asiamah also revealed that the Black Stars players were paid a qualification bonus of $15,000 for qualifying from the group stage to the quarter final.
per cent slash of the previous bonus of US$30,000 and US$12,000 respectively.
The Sports Minister-designate called for a law to ensure that the Black Stars coach includes a number of local players in the national teams.
He said in doing this, the local league will rediscover it attractiveness and also help prevent the excessive player exodus which he believes is the main cause of the collapse of the local league.
By Enoch Ntiamoah