Sports News of Friday, 16 January 2015
Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chairman of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Dr Kofi Amoah, has shot down the country’s bid to host the continental show piece for the second time in a decade.
Ghana has been shortlisted as one of the four countries from which the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will name the 2017 hosts, this year.
But Dr .Amoah, who fronted Ghana’s successful bid in 2008, said the current economic situation coupled with the proximity of the bid to the previous one makes the current bid a misplaced priority.
“I believe in state function; in nation building; in bringing civilization to your community, you must do first things first,” he told TV3’s Juliet Bawuah in an interview on Thursday, January 15.
He argued that the over $300 million invested in facilities including two new stadia have not been completely made use of – especially to the benefit of the country’s economy and the football industry – for a new bid to be filed.
“If we haven’t done that and we are quickly going to throw more money around to host…for what?”
He described such bids as social investments with returns not immediately felt.
“So we have all these problems of dumsor, of importation, of unemployment, of graduates coming out not getting jobs…are we not focusing on the first things first?” the businessman said.
He called on authorities to rather work on repairing the dented image of the country following happenings at the 2014 World Cup.
“The smoke has not settled yet and we are going to do another thing that doesn’t make economic sense.”
Egypt, Gabon and Algeria are among the countries shortlisted to host the 31st edition of the tournament, which was originally scheduled to be hosted by Libya.