The Black Stars kicked off their Russia 2018 qualifications against the Cranes of Uganda at the Tamale Sports Stadium on Friday which ended goalless draw.
Before the Stars play their last AFCON qualifier against Rwanda at the Accra Sports Stadium, there had being several accusations between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association. Ever since Nii Lante Vanderpuye was appointed as the Youth and Sports Minister, the Ghana Football Association seems not to have their freedom compared to the previous sports ministers.
With no doubt this current FA have been able to lead the country to three successive world in Germany, South Africa and in Brazil but the question is, have we ever care to asked the amount of money the FA spent in those three successive world cups and what the government had in return?.
The Member of Parliament for the people of Odododiodio Constituency cited his intentions clear when he was appointed by His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama. He first took a bold step by telling the management members of the Black Stars to justify why they should be paid $10.000.00 compared to what the players are receiving. This decision by the sports minister did not go down well with the FA which brought about many arguments between the FA and the Nii Lante Vanderpuye.
The Sports Minister further went ahead and cancelled all protocol payment and refused to grant any member of the FA a complementary ticket. The team played both Mauritius and Mozambique and the players were paid $8.000.00 but some members of the FA disagreed with the Sports Minister for slashing the winning bonus by 20 percent by the players who are playing for the country never complained. One will ask, why did the FA say they don’t agree with the decision taken the Sports Minister?
The Japanese U-23 National team invited the Local Black Stars for a friendly match and was played in Tokyo but according the Sports Minister, the FA did not inform him before the match took place in Tokyo. On their return back home, the Public Relations Officer of the FA, Ibrahim Sannie Darra was quizzed if they informed the Sports Minister.
Sannie said, “If the Sports Minister says we did not inform him before we went to play the match, then he is a big liar.” This statement by the former BBC worker gingered Nii Lante Vanderpuye and asked the FA to account for the friendly match against Japan but the Western Regional RFA Chairman, Kojo Yanka bold came out and ask the minister to forget about the FA accounting to him because they are accountable to him [Nii Lante Vanderpuye].
After earning a qualification to play in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Afriyie Ankrah who was the Sports Minister promised the country that they will do anything in their capacity to win the world cup after Ghana were knocked out of the competition by Uruguay on penalties in the quarter finals in South Africa 2010. Even though winning the world cup entails a lot but Afriyie Ankrah made us believed that Ghana is capable of winning the world cup. By then, the government had already approved a budget that many fought against that the FA didn’t deserve to be given that huge amount.
He promised there will be fun parks for the supporters that will be in Brazil and he will make sure that everything is in order but according reports many Ghanaian supporters that went to Brazil to supports the country had it very difficult to even go to the stadium because of the poor manner of arrangement that took place, many people couldn’t get proper accommodation and the fun parks the minister promised did not come on. Due to this difficult situation some Ghanaian supporters had to come back to Ghana.
With all this happening the supporters, the Black Stars have not received their per diems after losing to United States of America and drawing 2:2 with Germany but the FA had already received their appearance fee given to every federation for appearing to the world cup by FIFA.
With a match in hand to against Portugal, the players threatened not play train for the match if they don’t get the money. The government Ghana had to send money through a chartered flight from Ghana to Brazil which the American even said to cast a movie on that. Unfortunately, Ghana lost by 2:1 after each player receiving $10.000.00 as appearance fee. After the painful exit, Afriyie Ankrah lost his job as the Sports Minister before the team landed in Ghana. But the question is why did the FA refused to use their appearance fee given to them by FIFA to pay the Black Stars players when they were demanding for their money?
Upon their return back home, after exhibiting a shambolic performance, the President of the country set up a commission of enquiry to enquire what led to the painful exit from the competition. Many personalities appeared before the commission but the most watchful ones was the president of the FA, Kwesi Nyantakyi and Afriyie Ankrah.
The former sports minister who promised to bring the cup home started weeping when he was quizzed how he felt when the players said they were not going to train unless they receive their money. The question is, why have they not been able to account to us the money they spent in Brazil? The FA president brought something new the commissioners even find it very difficult to understand.
Interrogating the FA President, he was asked on how they shared the money given to them by the government but the renowned football administrator revealed that the money was shared among themselves through the use of “co-efficient”. It was very clear that the FA was given $7.000 but two of the management members of the team did not receive their share but five of them had their money. Even though the then Vice President of the Ghana Football Association, Jordan Anagblah was not alive so obviously there should have been a balance of $2.000.00 by the FA president insisted that they used co-efficient formula to share the money so there was not return. So the question is, who loses and who gains if the country qualifies for world cup?
After six months of enquiring what led to the exit of the Black Stars, many recommendations were made by the commissioners, many were accepted by the government and some were rejected.
After Afriyie Ankrah was sacked as the Sports Minister, he was replaced by Mahama Ayariga in 2015. The Black Stars qualified for the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea and many thought the team and the management has learnt it lessons after the Brazil fiasco but low and behold the government of Ghana through a chartered flight again send money to the players when they started demanding for the money whiles the commission of enquiry reports suggested that the government should not send money to the players through a chartered flight.
Winning the AFCON, only gives you $150.000.00 but going to the 2015 AFCON in Equatorial Guinea, the FA drew a budget close to $1.000.000.00 but unfortunately Ghana lost to Ivory Coast on penalties shootouts.
Placing second at the AFCON, the players and the management of the Black Stars were given brand new Cherokee cars with a winning bonus of $10.000.00. These rose many questions that how can a second placed team get a winning bonus of $10.000.00 and brand new Cherokee car? Mahama Ayariga was given the platform to explain but the only good thing he could say was that the questions many journalists are asking him are “useless” and he is therefore not ready to explain.
Many called on the president to show him the exit door meanwhile the FA and the management of the Black Stars were not ready to answer any further questions like what Mahama Ayariga was doing. The hidden question here is, how much went into importing the cars? How much the car was purchased?
Dr. Mustapha Ahmed replaced Mahama Ayariga as the Sports Minster but was surprisingly fired when he maltreated the Black Queens.
When Nii Lante Vanderpuye replaced Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, he made his intentions clear that he is not in to hunt anybody but he is in to do the right thing.
With no doubt, the Black Stars players can confidently confirm that playing the National team and playing the world cup helps them to get a juicy contract outside Ghana and a very big example is Kelvin Prince Boateng, Dominc Adiyah, Daniel Opare, Agyemang Badu and other couple of players.
Kelvin Boating was called to play for Ghana in the 2010 world cup in South Africa and after his excellent display, he had to move from Genoa where he was on loan to AC Milan where he won the Serie A title twice.
After winning the world cup with the Black Satellites in Egypt Adiyah moved to AC Milan. Agyemang Badu who was member of the team joined Udinese and other players joining foreign clubs.
Again one will ask, if playing the National team helps the players to get juicy contracts, why are they not willing play the national team for free?
The former GBC worker with all the names given to him by the FA members have not decided to rule out some of his decisions but still stand by them.
After the Black Satellites failed to gain a qualification, Mr. Nyantakyi branded the Sports Minster as a sports caller but the minister boldly came out and said that the FA approached him to do certain things but he told them he is not ready to do anything like that and but the mysterious thing was that the team did not qualify For the African Youth Championship. Clearly you will ask, what were the certain things the FA was demanding from the minister?
In many interviews, the minister continues to say that why a country like Ghana should spends close to $1,000,000.00 in just a single match whiles the future leaders of this country are schooling under trees and even getting it difficult to get portable water to even drink.
Even though many football pundits have advised Nii Lante Vanderpuye to stop attacking the FA because it can cost the country for not qualifying for the world cup in Russia but the question is, have we ever seen a rocky relationship between the FA and the Ministry of Youth and Sports? Nii Lante is the eighth minister who is in as the Sports Minister since the ruling NDC government came into power so should we believe that if he comprehend with the FA and does things like what his predecessors will he survive? And why is that the FA is not ready to comprehend with the Sports Minister in all his decisions?
If government of Ghana will only spend on the Black Stars and get nothing in returns will the country lose anything if it national team fails to qualify for a major tournament like world cup? Or is the FA who benefits everything from FIFA will loses?
So the question still remains, who loses if Ghana fails to qualify for the 2018 world cup? Is it the country, the FA or the players?