$10.5m Blown On Brazil World Cup

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga, told parliament last week that the government spent $9,955,883 ($9.9million) in addition to GH¢1,459,491 on just the two-week participation of the Black Stars in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

He said the $9,955,883 initially released, whittled down to $8,918,945 by the time the money was credited to the account of the ministry due to exchange rate loss and some bank charges.

The minister could however, not give details of monies spent on supporters ferried by the government to Brazil as well as sponsorship money from corporate bodies like the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), when questioned by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Ablekuma North, Justice Joe Appiah, at whose request the minister was summoned to brief the MPs about the exact money expended by government on the national team in Brazil.

Mr. Mahama Ayariga said out of the total amount expended, $4,003,761 was given to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for the payment of appearance fee and specific accommodation charges, while GH¢1,478,250 and $442,553 were used on air tickets, per diem, accommodation, meals, medicals and laundry expenses during the tournament.

He also made it known that FIFA took all lodging and boarding expenses of the team during their stay in Brazil, adding that $750 each was spent on five other officials with the contingent.

The Ablekuma North MP wanted to know about the cost of preparation by the national team – starting from Accra to Holland and then to the United States of America – before their departure to Brazil, but the minister said that question was not part of the original question and so must be given some time to bring those details to parliament.

He disclosed further that the GFA had however, refunded the money given to it to pay the appearance fees.

“Mr. speaker, in response to a request by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Brazil 2014 World Cup, the ministry is arranging through the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to open an escrow account with the Bank of Ghana to deposit the advance of $4,003,761 refunded by the GFA,” he said.

He said that the commission had also directed that all prize monies received from FIFA in respect of the country’s participation in the World Cup tournament had to be deposited into the same account until the end of its (commission’s) work.

He assured that the commission’s work would also help unravel some other expenditure not sanctioned by the government or the GFA.

Members of Parliament will be attending a post-budget workshop today, tomorrow and Monday to be well educated on the budget in order to assist them in their debate on it, which will begin on Tuesday, November 25.

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