Celebrated Ghanaian Sports journalist Yaw Ampofo Ankrah has hit back at “sponsored” online and newspaper allegations claiming that he was responsible for carrying supporters to Brazil.
The brother of the immediate past Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah says he can understand why some people might genuinely confuse his professional work as a sports journalist and media consultant with his personal relationship as a special advisor to the former Minister on matters concerning media and communications.
However, when there are deliberate and orchestrated attempts to deceive the public with falsehood and unsubstantiated allegations, it must be thwarted immediately.
In a telephone interview from Rio de Janeiro where he is covering the World Cup, the former BBC, Metro tv and Joy fm reporter described the claims as evil , malicious and cowardly.
Ampofo Ankrah who has been out of the country since the 7th of June is currently contracted to Supersport in South Africa where he was based for training ahead of the commencement of the World Cup in Brazil.
‘’Although I find these allegations absurd to say the least, it is important to state the facts especially for my concerned well-wishers and colleagues around the world who have been sending me messages encouraging me to clear the air’’.
The 39 year old sports producer listed his points ‘‘Firstly, let it be clear that my trip to Brazil was sponsored 100% by my employers Supersport. I did not go on GFA ticket, a sponsor’s ticket neither was I sent there by the government. In fact, I have never been sponsored by any government to any World Cup Tournament; Germany 2006 (Metro tv), South Africa 2010 (Etv), AFCON 2013 (Oxigen) and Brazil 2014 (Supersport)
The records are there for anyone to check.
He explained that with regards to the World Cup Committee, he was indeed a member of the media sub-committee chaired by SWAG President Mr. Ackah Anthony.
However, two months to the World Cup, he received an offer from Supersport to be their special reporter in the camp of the Black Stars.
He further explained that after discussing the offer with the minister, he was given the blessing to accept the SuperSport contract.
‘’I would have loved to have played a full role in the World Cup Committee’s operations in Brazil, however this was not possible due to preparations and planning for Supersport production in Brazil’’.
The broadcaster, who is also the founder and President of the Ghana Beach Soccer Association, says he has never collected a pesewa from anybody for visas or tickets for the World Cup and that includes government officials, corporate or private individuals.
The Supersport presenter has confirmed that audio recordings, newspaper reports and online articles have been submitted to his lawyers for possible legal action if necessary to clear his hard earned reputation.
‘’I am very proud of the fact that I have never been sponsored by any government to any world cup tournament and the records are there to prove it. I challenge those cowards making these evil allegations to come forward and declare their identities’’
He asked, ‘’Is it not strange that nobody can boldly come forward and put these allegations to my face? They have no balls so they chose to use cheap journalists to do their dirty work’’
Ampofo Ankrah continued, ‘’my silence may have been misconstrued for acceptance of these lies. But it is rather because I cannot waste precious time in responding to such wild allegations since I am competing with international brands and networks’’.
Ampofo Ankrah who has also worked at Etv, Yfm, Atlantis Radio and Rainbow Radio was emphatic in stating that he will not be silenced and will soon expose the architects of what he described as a cheap political smear campaign.
It would be recalled that in 2012, he resigned as the editor of TV3 sports to campaign for President John Mahama by forming the powerful Movement for Mahama group. A decision he says he took at the time, because he could not compromise his position at TV3.
‘’I took that decision in 2012 with one motive, to help a good man become President.
So those who were seeking rewards and have been disappointed should take their frustrations elsewhere. I have not been given a vehicle, a house an appointment or money. These are all lies aimed at throwing dust into the eyes of Ghanaians’’
In a defiant tone, he threw a challenge to his accusers. ‘’ Any man or woman out there who claims to have rewarded me with gifts or other benefits should come forward with evidence now or face me in court. Enough of this PHD nonsense’’
He said he cannot comment on issues concerning the probe into the world cup committee but will continue to support the President in difficult times.
Ampofo Ankrah says he is confident the former Minister of Youth and Sports will be exonerated and cleared of all the charges levelled against him and bounce back.
Meanwhile, as the executive producer of the World Cup Fans Diaries, he has confirmed that a special behind-the-scenes World Cup flashback would be aired immediately after the tournament ends in Brazil.
The television presenter is expected back in Accra after the World Cup Final on Saturday.