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We spent US$4.5m out of US$6.3m we budgeted for AFCON ’19 – Sports Minister

Minister for Youth and Sports, Hon. Isaac Kwame Asiamah has told Parliament that his ministry budgeted US$6.3m for the nation’s senior soccer team, Black Stars, for preparation and participation in the 2019 Egypt African Cup of Nations (AFCON) soccer tournament, but they spent US$4.5m and not US$15m as was speculated.

The minister made this declaration on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday 24th July after the AFCON in Egypt when he appeared in the House to account for their stewardship.

According to Mr. Asiamah, who is also Member of Parliament for Atwima Mponua the remaining US$1.7 will be returned to the State.

Mr. Kwame Asiamah conceded that the senior national team, Black Stars performed below expectation, they have requested for a comprehensive report from the Normalisation Committee to determine the way forward for Ghana football.

The Sports Minister gave breakdown of the US$4.5m expenditure which covered the following: the playing body, technical team, Members of Parliament (Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture),Representatives of Ghana League Clubs Association, Representatives of Old Footballers Association, some Staff of Ghana Football Association, Some Staff of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Members of Ghana Supporters Union and Journalists.

For the details ; airfare an amount of US$924,168.00, US$187,050.00 was spent on per diem for players, US$129,600.00 was expended as per diem on the technical staff, per diem for additional technical staff,US$90,750.00, US$965,405.00 was expended as winning bonus for players, US$347,027 for winning bonus-technical, US$177,000.00 for winning bonus-additional technical staff.

Others are accommodation at a cost of US$1.143m, feeding/allowance US$419,300.00, match tickets US$41,750.00, medicals US$44,574.00, Visa fees US$8,541.00, internal transportation US$43,092.00, whiles incidentals took US$42,576.00, with all totaling US$4.5m.

The Minister also debunked a voice circulating in the media that he led the Ghanaian supporters an excursion of Egypt while AFCON was ongoing adding that it was organized by CAF and FIFA, with his office only briefed after a meeting by the two bodies. He maintained that no supporter was or is stranded in Egypt.

Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in contributing to the statement indicated that the local league needs to commence as soon as possible because in preparing for the upcoming World Cup, the country will be shortchanging itself.

Mahama Ayariga, Member of Parliament(MP) for Bawku Central said the issue of how the national team players are remunerated should be discussed and called for standards to be set for the national team that are followed irrespective of who wears the team jersey.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu said managers of football in Ghana should be open to new ideas on matters of the coach, embrace the issues of dispassionately.

“I think we are not paying enough attention to our local league and tap talent”.

Source: Sammy Agyei/Frontpageghana.com/Ghana

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