It has emerged that about $91,800 was supposed to have been given to the 612 supporters who were sent to cheer the Black Stars at the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup, as pocket money.
However the money, which was allegedly deducted from the three caterers’ budget, was not given to the supporters; neither did they know anything about it.
Mrs Gertrude Quashigah, wife of former Health Minister Courage Quashigah, who is also the CEO of Amber Quality Foods Limited, disclosed this yesterday when she appeared before Justice Senyo Dzamefe’s Commission of Inquiry into the World Cup scandal.
She said the committee in charge of Grounds, Events and Logistics told them (caterers) before they travelled to Brazil that each of the 612 Ghanaian supporters would be pocketing $10 a day from the $45 budgeted for a supporter.
That, she said, was why the committee agreed on $35 a day for the caterers instead of $45.
‘Initially, we charged $45 but they told us to sacrifice the $10 and take the $35 because the $10 is for the supporters as pocket money and for breakfast. The Committee told us this at our last meeting at Maxlot Hotel in Accra,’ Mrs Quashigah said.
However DAILY GUIDE checks indicated that none of the 612 supporters who were airlifted to Brazil received a penny from government or any committee as pocket money, raising questions about the whereabouts of the over $90,000 allegedly deducted for the supporters.
One of the supporters who spoke to DAILY GUIDE on anonymity said, ‘Government did not give us any money; neither were we promised any money.’
He said when they got to Brazil, the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, visited them and they asked him for per diem but he told them: ‘Listen to me very carefully and read my lips, we have nothing for you.’
He said they felt disappointed in the minister’s remarks because they heard that during the South Africa 2010 World Cup the supporters were given per diem.
‘We were not treated well at all. Where we slept was bad and the food they gave to us from the beginning was not good until we complained before they started giving us good food,’ he said.
Mrs Quashigah told the commission that there was no transparency in the committee’s dealings with the three caterers, saying they did not even know who was paying for the items they picked from the market and the amount involved.
She said when they returned from Brazil, a committee member gave her a sheet of paper which contained a list of cooking items and their cost, explaining that the list showed the amount spent by the committee on the cooking items she used at the World Cup.
Mrs Quashigah revealed to the Commission that $37,720 was quoted as the cost of ingredients she alone used in Brazil for the cooking.
The amount, she said, was outrageous. ‘There is no place in the world that the quantity of ingredients I used would amount to $37,720.
‘If I was sent to the market I would have bought those items at half the price that was quoted or even less,’ Mrs Quashigah said.
She reiterated that the caterers deserved more than the $19,200 given to them, considering the problems and stress they went through during the 15 days of cooking for the supporters.
‘Since I came back I have spent a lot on medicals. There was a time it was raining and I fell down and hurt my hip bone. I have still not finished treating myself,’ she added.
By Cephas Larbi
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