Probe GOC If… —B. T. Baba

Mr. Benson Tongo Baba, a former President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) has called for a probe into activities of the GOC after the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland if indeed the GOC secured government funding to participate in the games.

Known in sporting circles as BT Baba, the former GOC confirmed to the Times Sports yesterday that the GOC was an autonomous body and was supposed to raise funds to augment what it receives from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

Reacting to reports of state funding for Ghana’s participation at the just ended Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,  BT Baba said, “if it was true that, the GOC took money from government for the games, then they must be held accountable.

“From the reports I heard from Glasgow and all the allegations, I think it will be appropriate for the government to look into the matter. Some of the allegations are very serious and Ghanaians must be made aware of what happened in Glasgow.”

The former Handball Association of Ghana (HAG) chairman said the GOC is supposed to be an autonomous body, hence should not receive funding from government for their activities and noted that, they are obliged to be held accountable if they indeed received funding from government.

“Principles of autonomy requires good governance and accountability and if indeed they went for money from the government, then they have opened themselves up to be investigated.

“One thing I am very sure of is the fact that the IOC or CGF would never delay in the release of funds for its programmes. It therefore becomes very irregular for a NOC to seek state funding to procure equipment. That defeats our procurement law.”

Mr. Baba revealed that athletes usually don’t receive per diems from the IOC  or the CGF mainly because they are provided with facilities needed at no cost, adding that, ‘ a few like the chef de mission, NOC Secretary-General and president are taken care of by the organisers.

Baba said, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will not under any circumstance impose any sanction on Ghana, if steps are taken to investigate the GOC, adding that “once you take money from government, you should be accountable for it”.

“The government is currently probing the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and their activities in Brazil to unravel circumstances that plunged Ghana’s participation in the Brazil World Cup into chaos. It is being done because government invested heavily in the preparation and participation.

The circumstances around the Glasgow Games are similar and I don’t see the reason why eforts should not be put in place to know what happened to Team Ghana in Glasgow.

By Andrew Nortey

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