The Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, has disclosed that government spent 4.5million dollars on Black stars before and during their participation in the just ended Afcon in Egypt.
The Minister was in parliament to brief the House on the team’s participation in the just ended tournament in Egypt.
Mr. Asiamah also explained that out of the allocated amount, US$4,563,353 was expended from the total amount during the training tour and to the time Ghana exited from the main tournament.
This he said was as a result of the team’s early exit from the tournament.
The Government of Ghana he said approved more than US$6.36 million for the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 tournament in Egypt, comprising of the training tour, main tournament and their related activities.
The Minister said Ghana’s preparation, participation and determination to win AFCON 2019 began two years ago with the appointment of James Kwesi Appiah in April 2017.
According to the Youth and Sports Minister, Coach Appiah was given a clear task to win the AFCON 2019 in Egypt.
He expressed disappointment that despite all the support for the Black Stars, the team performed below expectation.
Mr. Asiamah also stated that his Ministry has called for a comprehensive report from the Normalization Committee by July 26, 2019, to find out what went wrong for the team in the tournament.
He said after the study of the report, major recommendations and decisions with regard to the way forward for Ghana football in particular would be taken.
Mr. Asiamah further explained that as part of measures to boost the morale of team, the Ministry sponsored Ghanaian supporters to Egypt to support them. The supporters were in Ismailia where the Black Stars was based.
He however, debunked claims that the Ministry organized excursions for all the supporters, saying that, it was CAF and FIFA which organized excursions for the supporters of the participating nations in Egypt, including Ghana.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, in a comment questioned the prudence for the expenditure of US$4,563,353 on the team, which could only get to the one sixteenth stage, compared to 2017 when the team got to the semi-final with an amount US$3.6 million.
He called for the breakdown of the figures presented by the Minister to ensure transparency in the use of public funds, as he insisted on a comprehensive overhaul of the football administration in the country.
Mr. Ablakwa requested that the Minister should provide the House with a Plan of action on how to rejuvenate youth soccer in the country, among others. , Chairman of the Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture, Alex Agyekum in his comment, urged members to exercise patient while they wait for the report from the Normalization Committee.
He said the recommendations from the report will go a long way to bring the desired changes that Ghanaians want in the management of the national team.
He lauded the players of the Blacks Stars and technical team for a good work done, despite their early exist from the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
The Deputy Minority Whip, Ahmed Ibrahim, in his remarks, called for the reorganization of Ghana football with the aim of wining the trophy for the fifth time.
He said the problem with the Black stars is not about the use of local coaches but trainers who would be able to ensure discipline in the team.
He called for the re-introduction of Colts soccer and league in the country, which he said, was the training grounds for most of the players that feed the premier league and eventually the Black stars.
The Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, commended the Minister of Youth and Sports for the transparent and accountable manner he addressed issues concerning the Black Stars participation in AFCON 2019.
He said out of the over US$6 million allocated for the 2019 AFCON, US$1.8 million of the unexpended amount is being returned to government chest.
He also applauded the team for their participation in the tournament and not disgracing the country.