Hosting AFCON Won’t ‘Cripple’ Struggling Economy – Ayariga

Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga has given the assurance that the country’s bid to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations’ (AFCON) tournament will not hurt Ghana’s finances.

Mr. Ayariga has setup an 11-member committee to lead the country to bid for the hosting rights after 2008.

Many have expressed concern about Ghana’s capacity to host the tournament in the face numerous economic challenges.

But the sector Minister says Ghanaians should stop worrying with the explanation that little will be spent on existing infrastructure which were constructed ahead of the 2008 AFCON which was hosted in Ghana.He recalled that government pumped a lot of funds into projects construction saying, “the reconstruction of existing stadia for the 2008 AFCON was a major reconstruction so a lot of money went into it but the current rehabilitation doesn’t really require significant amounts of investments so Ghanaians should be rest assured that not that much investment will go into rehabilitating the stadia.”

Ayariga maintained that in terms of infrastructure, “we are okay. There isn’t much investments that need to go from government to host the tournament.”

He was certain that corporate Ghana will pitch in to help since ultimately, they will be beneficiaries if Ghana wins the bid.

“Hotels will make money, businesses will make money foreigners will come into this country with foreign exchange so overall, we stand to benefit from investments that we made in the past and the little that we need to add this time will derive the benefits,” he assured.

Meanwhile, the minister has appointed former Black Stars captain Abedi Pele and 10 others as members of a committee to lead Ghana’s bid to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
The committee which is made up of Ghana’s seasoned football administrators will be supported by 6 football ambassadors.

The Committee members are; Ernest Thompson, the Chairman, who also doubles as the Director of SNNIT, Abedi Pele, the vice Chairman, Fred Crentsil – GFA Vice President, Randy Abbey, Herbert Mensah (Football Administrator and businessman), Dr. Nyaho Nyaho Tamakloe, Lepowura MND Jawula, Nana Sam Brew Butler (All former GFA Chairmen), Alex Mould (CEO of GNPC), Rex Danquah, the secretary, who also doubles as a Consultant and Sports Expert and Alhaji Abdulai Yakubu, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports).

The Ambassadors are ex-Black Stars players Stephen Appiah, Tony Yeboah Tony Baffoe, Ibrahim Sunday, Abdul Razak and former WBC Featherweight champion, Azumah Nelson.

Abedi Pele was a key member of the South African bid team that ensured that country got the bid to host the 2010 World Cup.