Sports News of Friday, 20 February 2015
Spokesperson for the Ghana Football Association [GFA], Ibrahim Sannie Daara has hit back at sports commentators and journalists who have questioned recent donations to the Black Stars for placing second at the just ended Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea.
Sannie tagged some sports journalists as “Witches and Wizards” for setting up agendas to run down the Black Stars.
“Anyone whose aim is to destroy the Black Stars is a witch. There’s this growing calculated campaign to demonize the Black Stars just because people are appreciating their [Black Stars] efforts for the brilliant performance they exhibited in Equatorial Guinea. I don’t understand why people are campaigning against the Black Stars. Black Stars players are also Ghanaians,” he said.
The GFA spokesman opined that, sports journalists now envy the Black Stars just because of donations given to them.
News broke out earlier in the week that players of the Black Stars and members of the technical team would each receive a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee worth $76,000 from government for excelling in the tournament, a story which the Ghana Football Association initially denied.
The FA changed its stance on the issue confirming that 30 models of the above-mentioned car will be distributed to members of the playing body and not officials of the team as earlier opined.
But some media reports suggested the donation was funded either wholly or partly by government.
This compelled the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga, to also come out to publicly dismiss rumours making rounds in the media that government funded the acquisition of the Jeep Grand Cherokees.
Mahama Ayariga noted that “Before the tournament there was a promise by Tanink Ghana Limited that if the players won the cup they will mobilize resources to get each player and not management members a Jeep”.
According to Mahama Ayariga, Tanink Ghana Limited only required government to grant it tax exemptions.
This claim was corroborated by the Chief Executive Officer of Tanink Ghana Ltd, franchise holders of Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Iveco, etc in Ghana, Mr Roger Klogo, who told the media the donation was a redemption of a long-standing promise made by Tanink Ghana Ltd to the Black Stars and has nothing to do with government.
“I want to say Tanink did present all those cars to the Black Stars and we did it together with our partners but without any government involvement. No government involvement at all,” he emphasised.
He said “some of the partners paying for some the cars said that they will only come on board on condition that the duties on the cars were exempted and of which I contacted Government and Government agreed to grant the exemption hence we went ahead to redeem the promise though they came home with silver.”
Roger Klogo said he found it rather worrying that government would be credited with the donation because the tax exemption granted was very minimal as compared to landed cost and the showroom price.
But critics are still unconvinced despite these explanations.
Reacting to concerns raised by some sports journalists on the tax exemptions granted Tanink by government, Sannie Daara on Peace FM’s Peace Power Sports lamented that it is wrong for journalists to accuse government of neglecting the unending power crisis to spend on the stars.
“Why must Ghanaians be aggrieved if some company is willing to donate cars to the Black Stars?” he questioned. Adding that “Government did not purchase those cars”.
Forced by host Dan Kweku Yeboah to explain some spending at the GFA before and after the AFCON tournament, Sannie Daara furiously labeled Dan as going “bonkers”.
“You are going bonkers Dan… aren’t you? You are going bonkers!” Sannie fumed during a live radio interview.
However, Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” host Kwami Sefa Kayi intervened and asked him (Sannie) to be measured in his response since his usage of the word “bonkers” on radio was wrong.
“You [Sannie] have worked as a sports journalist for years and worked with BBC before. What do you think BBC will do if someone tells their presenter live on air that he is going bonkers?” Kwami asked.
But the GFA spokesman found nothing wrong with describing Kweku Yeboah and those questioning the source of Black Stars Jeep as going “bonkers”.
“They [BBC] will do nothing if such word is used live on radio. Do you understand the meaning of bonkers? he shot back.
The morning show host then asked him (Saanie) to explain what he (Saanie) understood the word to mean. At which he replied; it means “going overboard”.
Sefa Kayi then told him that the dictionary definition of the word he used to describe those questioning the source of Black Stars Jeep is “crazy, mad, deranged, etc…”
But the former BBC reporter still stuck to his guns saying “What kind of argument is this…Dan is going overboard”.