The Ministry of Youth and Sports says the country stands to benefit considerably from hosting the African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) but it cannot reveal exactly how much the process will cost or how much the country would make from the tournament.
The Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga said he cannot provide a specific figure because a technical committee to bid for the AFCON 2017 has not released any figures.
“As at now I don’t want to give you a specific figure because we have set up a technical committee which is responsible for giving us the analysis and the figures. If I mention any figure now and they come out with a figure that is different the I run into trouble.”
According to the Minister, the committee submitted the country’s formal bid to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Monday and are awaiting CAF’s decision on the bids which have qualified.
Mahama Ayariga, speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, said that the country would benefit a greatly from hosting 2017 AFCON should the country win the bid to host the tournament.
He opined that the country has not benefited enough from hosting the AFCON in 2008 despite investing massively in the tournament and hosting the AFCON in 2017 presented a good opportunity to take full advantage of the infrastructure built for the tournament.
“Ghana stands to benefit considerably when we win the right to host the tournament. We invested so much in the stadia to host the tournament in 2008 and the stadia haven’t deteriorated significantly. The kind of investment that we made in 2008, we have not benefitted enough from it,” he said.
The minister believes that the airport companies and hotels stand to make a lot of money from foreign players and fans travelling to the country for the tournament.
According to Mr. Ayariga, the millions invested building new stadia in Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale and renovating existing ones in Accra and Kumasi means that the country would not have to spend as much this time around.