This is the second of my opinionated articles on the Dzamefe Commission report. The last time out, I was asking why no one was held liable for not releasing the money to the players on time and who was responsible for the loss of over $400,000 for not issuing a relevant letter to the Bank of Ghana on time.

This article will be focusing on what the report revealed about the Ghana Football Association and to be candid, quite a lot was revealed, although some of the issues would be contested by some of the GFA bigwigs.

Co-efficient issues: $412,500 unaccounted for

Lets take the issues one after the other. For starters a total of $577,500 was budgeted for seven Black Stars management team members as appearance fees. According to the report, GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi testified that an amount of $165,000 was shared amongst the five management team members who went to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

For purposes of clarity the five management members in Brazil were Nyantakyi himself, Moses Armah, Kwame Ofosu Bamfo, Felix Ansong and Yaw Boateng Gyan. The other two were Jordan Anagblah, who died in 2012 and Emmanuel Kyeremeh, who left Ghana to reside in Canada also in late 2012.

The first question one then asks his, why was money budgeted for seven management members when five would be present? I am not going to waste time on the co-efficient explanation because back then and even now, for me it was an attempt to insult the intelligence of Ghanaians!

The report also reveals that the remaining $412,500 was shared amongst people in the Ministry of Youth and Sports and beyond. When the Commission asked Nyantakyi to submit the names of all those who partook of the money, he submitted an incomplete list as follows.

Kwesi Nyantakyi
George Afriyie
Yaw Boateng Gyan
Moses Armah
Isaac Addo
Alex Asante
Emmanuel Annan
Marijana Koveccevic
Fred Crentsil
Felix Ansong
Kwame Ofosu Bamfo
Emmanuel Gyimah
Ibrahim Sannie
Ishmail Amin
Alhaji Farouk Seidu
Jude Buta Odro & Others

Clearly Nyantakyi declined to reveal the identities of every person who partook in the $412,500. I wonder why. Was it because the beneficiaries included high ups at the Ministry of Youth and Sports? If some of the beneficiaries were beyond the MOYS, were they in the Office of the President?

Why was such an amount approved in the first instance by government? Let me pause and make some other observations. If Nyantakyi, Ansong, Ofosu Bamfo, Boateng Gyan and Armah shared $165,000, why are all five men included in the incomplete list as shown above?

Did each man benefit from the $412,500 in addition to the $165,000? How much did each man take in addition to sharing in the $165,000? What on earth is going on?

Again, if acting General Secretary Emmanuel Gyimah was paid $15,000 by the MOYS as honorarium, with Deputy General Secretaries Alex Asante (Protocol) and Ibrahim Saanie Daara (Communications) taking honoraria of $12,000 each, then what are their names doing on the incomplete list? What was the justification for giving them money beyond the honoraria due them? Why was no one made to sign for the money received?

I am reliably informed that the GFA’s argument, especially in the case of George Afriyie, Felix Ansong and Emmanuel Gyimah is that since all three men declined to reveal how much they received because GFA lawyer Thaddeus Sory was not allowed to be present when they were interviewed in camera.

If that is the case, then why did Yaw Boateng Gyan confirm in camera that he received $25,000? Was Thaddeus Sory present when Boateng Gyan gave his evidence in camera or not?

I will return to the issue of whether the money is public money or not, but clearly this is financial irresponsibility of the highest order from the GFA.

Secondly, the Black Stars was clearly used as a vehicle to milk funds for distribution and that is very very sad. The national team in World Cup years is viewed as a cash cow because all the GFA has to do is to tell the MOYS to jump and the MOYS will respond, ‘How high?’ This is with regard to funding for the Black Stars.

I therefore do not understand why the Commission’s recommendation that Nyantakyi should be made to account for or refund the $412,500 was rejected by the Government White Paper.

After all this while, I do not think that it needs further investigation by the Bureau of National Investigations to show that something is seriously wrong. Quite bluntly, Nyantakyi either refused or was reluctant to account for the $412,500 and should be held responsible; pure and simple!

No hierarchical organogram in Black Stars: the value is the same
I will go to another item that worries me. According to the report, all 10 members of the Black Stars technical team each received $100,000 as appearance fees. For clarity, the team comprises of Kwesi Appiah (head coach), Maxwell Konadu (assistant coach), Sabahn Quaye (team manager), Ismail Hamidu (equipment officer), Noah Ofosu (Physiotherapist), Samuel Ankomah (Masseur), Michael Okyere (Video Analyst), Nassamu Yakubu (Goalkeeper’s trainer), Professor Joseph Kwame Mintah (Psychologist) and Dr. Adam Baba (team doctor).

Again, some questions arise. If indeed government wanted to pay each of the players $82,500 as appearance fees, then had government agreed to pay each technical team member $100,000 each or was each member also supposed to receive $82,500? What sort of structures is the GFA working with, when it comes to the Black Stars? How come every member of the technical team got the same amount?

In my view, the only member of the technical team who deserved to get $100,000 as appearance fees was head coach Kwesi Appiah. I am not going to get into the ‘ball boy’ mockery, but I refuse to believe that Ismail Hamidu actually got the $100,000 he signed for and that applies to virtually every other technical team member save Kwesi Appiah.

Indeed, it is very possible that some of them might have received as low as $20,000 and signed for $100,000. This is because it makes no hierarchical sense for all of them to get the same amount of money. I would rather ask serious questions as to how Ismail Hamidu got into the technical team and his background as an equipment officer. What was he doing before he landed the position?

Even though the GFA has launched an impassioned defence of his usefulness to the team, do we therefore say that his role in the team was more valuable than that of Ibrahim Saanie Daara for example, to merit $100,000? Daara deservedly received $12000 as honorarium and also got an unknown sum of money from the unaccounted for $412500. Something seriously does not add up!

I remain steadfast in my belief that even though all technical team members signed for $100,000 each, none of them, except Appiah, received the full complement of the money. So the question is where did the rest of the money go? Your guess is as good as mine.
World Cup money: Public or private money?

There have been serious arguments as to who owns the prize money coming in from world governing body FIFA. I will leave you to judge who the money belongs to after this analogy. Government spent a total of $6,947,390.76 on Ghana’s 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, in addition to $4,965,172.24 for the competition itself. So government’s total expenditure on the team is $11,912,563. With this information as a basis for argument and with $7.1 million coming in as prize money from FIFA, should government get all the money or should the GFA still retain some of the money?

It is so sad, but the GFA sees the Black Stars as a money making machine to enrich themselves and the MOYS have been more than willing accomplices in this regard. Over monetizing the Black Stars is something that could send Ghana’s football down the abyss of mediocrity unless self centredness and financial indiscipline is eradicated from the GFA and government as well.

By: Christopher Opoku/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Source: Citi FM Online

An X Live Africa News Aggregation Service (http://xliveafrica.com)

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