A former Member of Parliament (MP) for Adenta, Kojo Adu Asare broke down and wept when he appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry yesterday. The tears were provoked when he lamented the sweat and resources he and a few others had put into the preparation for the World Cup.
As head of the Protocol and Supporters Welfare Committee for the Brazil 2014 World Cup, he told the Dzamefe Commission that the decision to ask three travel agencies to work together was as a result of their inability to find one agency that had the capacity to meet the criteria of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. According to him, the committee had no documentation on a benchmark or criteria to select one of the travel and tour agencies which applied.
“Let me mention that initially even though we were looking at selecting one who came out as the overall best, we realized that each one of them didn’t have everything to give us that foolproof seamless service. We tossed it around and found that if we could not find that one entity we could put a group of three together so we can ride on each other’s strengths. As I said the criteria was just to look at cost, track record, understanding of terrain and the resources needed to commit to the project this is the checklist we used in eliminating candidates,” he told the commission.
He further explained Travel Matters was initially given the approval over Bahmed Travel and Tours because of pricing.
“Bahmed had given us a very good presentation in terms of knowledge on the ground and all the other things we were looking at but eventually priced himself out.”
How were fans chosen?
He revealed that no documentation was tended in by the various supporter groups after the screening by the committee to determine those who have not attended international competitions before.
“We met the supporters and interviewed them and asked for representation, their size in terms of numbers, countries they have visited before and programs they have participated in.
This gave us a sense of who we were having to deal with at that level,” he said. He also admitted that the decision on the fans was made solely on the verbal endorsement by some individuals at the Ministry.
He ended his submissions by stating that the nation needed to state clearly its position on transporting fans to support national teams at future tournaments. “We have to look at the issue of supporters being lifted to wherever the Black Stars are playing as a key issue.
“If we want to continue to do it we have to come clean, that as a nation we will continue to support fans to be lifted and if we won’t we should state it clearly.
“Until that is out there for all of us to embrace we will still be facing such difficulties in future,” he told the commission.”
The commission resumes sitting on Tuesday 9th September, 2014.