Ghanaian athletes in Australia for the ongoing Commonwealth Games have threatened to boycott the event if their per diem are not immediately paid.
According to the athletes, the officials have taken all per diem due them from the government but have failed to pay them any amount.
The athletes claim they are owed $400 per diem, each.
This comes after President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Thursday suspended the deputy Sports Minister Pius Enam Hadzide and the acting Director General of the National Sports Authority, Robert Sarfo Mensah with immediate effect.
Their suspension follows the arrest and deportation of some 60 Ghanaians who claimed to be journalists in Australia to cover the games.
According to Australian authorities, they were not convinced by the reasons given by those so-called journalists for traveling to the country.
Even though those deported had genuine visas, many didn’t carry equipment like recorders and recommended mobile phones for coverage.
Botsio Nkegbe, the team captain for the athletes in an interview stated that they will never go ahead with the games if they are not paid
Speaking to Kasapa FM, Nkegbe alleged that the management members have received their per-diem but they have refused to pay the athletes even though government has already released funds.
He added that they will never return to Ghana if they are not paid.
“If we are not paid we will not return to Ghana. We will not go ahead with the games,” Nkegbe said.
Elvis Kojo Baah, the spokesperson of the Sports Ministry, however, claimed on Morning Starr that all their per-diems have been paid.
He expressed surprise that the athletes were boycotting the event when all their per-diems have been paid. Kojo Baah stated each member of the team has been paid an amount of $2,100.
However, Kojo Baah disclosed that the Ministry promised to give the athletes an amount of $400 each for arriving in Gold Coast way ahead of the commencement of the games. He said that amount is the only outstanding amount owed the team.
According to Kojo Baah, it was completely unnecessary for the team to revolt after they performed poorly in Australia.
Ghana has won just one bronze medal since the games started some ten days ago.
Source : Ghanaweb.com