A member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth and Sports, Freda Prempeh, has told Radio XYZ that Ghanaians must demand transparency and accountability in connection with the budget for the national football team’s participation in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Tano North Legislator warned in an interview with XYZ Breakfast Show Host Moro Awudu that Ghana could be saddled with another ‘Maputo’ rot if Ghanaians failed to demand transparency over the World Cup budget for the Black Stars.
Freda Prempeh’s fears are in reference to an investigative Committee report which unearthed massive financial impropriety in the All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique in 2011.
“Look at what happened in Maputo…When we presented the report to the Speaker of Parliament Hon Doe Adjaho was shocked at the report and up till now nothing [has been done about it]. We have not heard anything about it. Are we going to sit down for our money to be spent the same way? No.”
The Committee’s report found that: “Out of a total sum of GH356, 725.00 cedis voted by Government for the purchase of general kitting for athletes and officials, not one pesewa was spent or utilised for that purpose. Thus, Ghanaian athletes and officials went to the Games without branded or national wear supplied by the National Sport Council”.
The report also said: “Out of an amount of GH185, 925.00 cedis the Government voted for the purchase of kits, equipment, and accessories for the needs of individual sporting disciplines participating in the Games, only GH44, 000.00 was spent on three sports associations, leaving many associations without any kits and accessories.”
Also, it the Committee detected that: “The Managing Director of Trafix Catering Service, Bella Ahu, was overpaid to the tune of GH48, 804.00 cedis. She presented an invoice for feeding 200 athletes and officials for 20 days at the cost of GH20.00 per day, totaling GH80, 000.00 cedis.”
“The invoice also included GH231.20 for water plus 15% VAT of GH12,034.00, all of which amounted to GH92,265.88 cedis. However, by the Committee’s calculations per information received from the General Secretaries about their respective teams, Trafix could actually have fed only 148 athletes and officials over different days that numbered fewer than 20 in the case of virtually all the teams. Because there was actually no contract document stating the unit price per plate, the Committee reverted to the feeding cost of GH18.00 per day, which Trafix had charged the National Sports Council for the Unity Games.”
It added that the Chef De Mission, Mr. Erasmus Adorkor should also be held liable for a missing sum of $32,100 of the Games budget.
Controversy over Brazil 2014 Budget
The Ghana Football Association has presented a budget of $20 million to the Government as provisional budget for the mundial. There are clamours from various groups, individuals and stakeholders for the Government to be transparent with the budget.
If granted, the 2014 world Cup budget will be $500,000 more than the $19.5 million used to sponsor the 2010 World Cup campaign in South Africa.
Nigerian is going to the same World Cup with a budget of $12 million. The US soccer Federation’s World Cup budget for Brazil is listed at US$2 million although the amount may increase. Algeria has proposed US$5.8 million; One million of the mount will be received from sponsorship. Belgium on December 12 announced an allocation of €4.5 million for the national team for Brazil 2014.
Ghana’s Black Stars are also demanding $100,000 apiece as appearance fee for the 2014 World Cup. A letter submitted to the Ghana Football Association by Captain Asamoah Gyan on behalf of the national team players, justified the demand.
Each player was given $50,000 as appearance fee in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and $70,000 in the 2010 mundial in South Africa.
If the Stars’ demand for Brazil 2014 is granted, they would be taking 30 percent more than they took for the 2006 tournament. The 23-man Ghana squad will thus bag $2.3 million just for appearing. The amount is tax-free.