World Cup Debacle: $3M Is Peanut; Yaw Ampofo Ankrah Teases Ghanaians

A football analyst and member of the pool of administrators that managed the failed Black Stars team in Brazil, Yaw Ampofo Ankrah has descended heavily on critics of the government and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) over the $3 million which was sent to the Black Stars in Brazil during the summer World Cup through a chartered flight as their appearance fees.

Describing the money as a “peanut”, he challenged the critics of the government and GFA to justify their criticisms or better “shut up”.

He was however quick to add that ‘heads must roll’ if the money was not properly utilized.

In an exclusive interview with Today, Yaw Ampofo Ankrah who worked for South African sports network, Supersports as a commentator in Brazil registered his resentment on how people especially, the Ghanaian media treated the issue when it cropped up.

To him, it was no news that such money was sent to the players of the senior national team in Brazil.

“The issue was blown out of proportion and it was wrong in the first place for people to condemn GFA and the Ministry of Sports”, he said.

His stance on the issue, he noted is as a result of the hullaballoo and controversy that it generated after the appearance fees for the players became a national issue.

The brother of the former Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah was a member of Ghana’s entourage to the summer World Cup in Brazil.

It would be recalled that the issue of appearance fees for the Black Star players in Brazil took the centre stage in the country when some of the players were alleged to have had some exchanges with the officials of the ministry and the sGFA leading to the sacking of Sulley Ali Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng from the Black Stars’ camp.

Usually, he explained, the appearance fees are paid during or after a tournament.

Appearance fees, he went on to say are always given to the FAs of various countries for preparations towards any tournament with some nations even deciding to use such monies for the development of youth football.

He however blamed some officials of the GFA for failing to adhere to the dictates of what transpired concerning the payment of the appearance fees before the team and its officials left Ghana for Brazil.

“Once there was an agreement to give the money to them, I could not understand why it ended up in a controversy,” he quizzed.

“…and also if the money is theirs [Black Stars] and Fifa has already released it, how long will it take for a transfer to take place? This is because the official bank sponsors of the Black Stars (UniBank) should have taken up this task to enhance themselves globally,” he added.

The celebrated football analyst also condemned the incident that occurred between the embattled Sulley Ali Muntari and GFA official, Moses Armah Parker over the issue.

Some of the players, according to him need to be managed with care to ‘avoid some of these incidents in future.’

As to whether the GFA is living up to expectation, he said; “I am not sure about the target of the FA if it wanted only semifinals qualification.”

He disagreed with people who are calling for the dissolution of the FA because of the failure of the Black Stars and instead advocated the strengthening of internal and external structures of the FA..

Mr. Ampofo Ankrah further called on Ghanaians and players to change their attitudes so as to ensure sanity and discipline in all the national teams.