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Black Challenge faces Minister’s wrath over receiving donations from external bodies

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By Nana Kwame Bediako

The National Amputee Football Team, popularly known as the Black Challenge, faced some backlash from the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif.

The team paid a visit to the Minister on Friday, June 14, 2024, after their triumphant campaign at the Amputee Africa Cup of Nations (AAFCON) held in Egypt last month, where they successfully defended their title.

However, the visit took an unexpected turn as the minister expressed his displeasure with the team’s actions during the meeting.

Mustapha Ussif conveyed his dissatisfaction with the Black Challenge for accepting donations from external sources before consulting with his office.

“Last year when you landed, you came here directly; this year you started from one place to another,” he remarked.

The minister’s frustration stemmed from the team receiving $10,000 as an appreciation token for their back-to-back AFCON titles from former President John Mahama, who is also the flag bearer for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), on Wednesday, July 12, 2024.

The Sports Minister emphasised the importance of following the correct procedure, noting that the team’s first point of contact upon returning from Egypt should have been his office. He made it clear that the Ministry of Youth and Sports should be the primary contact for the team after their international successes.

“When you come after the successes and there’s anything, the first point of contact is this office. We’re not going to tolerate you using the state for your personal benefits,” he asserted.

Despite the minister’s reprimand, the Black Challenge’s achievement at the AAFCON remains a significant accomplishment for Ghana. Successfully defending their title in Egypt demonstrates their prowess and dedication to the sport. The team’s journey and triumphs continue to inspire many, showcasing the resilience and spirit of Ghanaian athletes.

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