The complexity of the 2014 world cup in Brazil riddled with several scandals and controversies involving senior government appointees and officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) is far from over.
Contents of emerging documents from the Ministry of Youth and Sports suggest the ambassadors and celebrities were given preferential treatment despite their insignificance in the campaign.
Whereas the 23 Black Stars players, who were the centre of attraction in Brazil, travelled in economy class, 20 ambassadors and celebrities travelled in business class; a situation which was said to have begun the confusion among players and some GFA officials.
The main rationale behind the presence of the celebrities and guest artistes in Brazil is yet to be properly told to the citizenry who condemned plans to transport them to Brazil as it was a drain on the national coffers.
A document sighted by DAILY GUIDE seemed to have vindicated those who were opposed to the inclusion of the celebrities and guest artistes in the 2014 World Cup campaign. It has also revealed that several thousands were allocated for this purpose.
The document, believed to be a proposal sent to various corporate entities soliciting funding for the trip, revealed a budget of $545,000 dollars for both ambassadors and guest artistes including Shatta Wale, Castro, Becca, Samini and Gyedu Blay Ambolley.
Each artiste, according to the budget, was entitled to a whooping sum of $29,000 which included a return ticket, accommodation, feeding and honorarium.
The document also indicated that an additional amount of $60,000 was budgeted for a carpet band of seven persons. It was to take care of their airfare, accommodation and feeding while in Brazil for nine days.
The ambassadors numbering 15, made up of various actors in the movie industry in Ghana, each enjoyed a sponsorship package of $20,000 including business class return tickets, feeding, accommodation and others during their entire stay in Brazil.
It is unclear the roles these selected individuals played in Brazil when hundreds of sponsored supporters were stranded and demanded to be brought back home.
Sacked Minister of Youth and Sports Elvis Afriyie Ankra, in an attempt to douse the pressure when the issue came up, disclosed that the ambassadors, in particular, were supposed to facilitate sponsorship from the corporate world for the World Cup.
DAILY GUIDE sources at the Youth and Sports Ministry uncovered that no single sponsor came on stream as a result of the uncertainties.
These celebrities and artistes were however jetted to Brazil with the tax payer’s money and have since returned home following a woeful performance by the Black Stars who were eliminated in the group stages with only a drawn game against Germany.
A number of civil society organisations are already calling for a probe into the organisation of this year’s World Cup campaign, suspecting widespread underhand dealings involving the leaders.