Retrieve Entire $8m From GFA – Dzamefe Commission Tells Gov’t


Justice Dzamefe
The Presidential Commission of Inquiry has ordered  the Ghana Football Association to give the entire amount received from FIFA for Ghana’s participation in the 2014 World Cup to the Ministry of Youth and Sports pending the conclusion of the Commission’s work.

It was reported on Thursday that the GFA had returned the $4 million loan it took from government.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga confirmed the news in an interview with Allsports.com.gh, revealing they had received a letter from the Commission requesting that the Ministry take the $8 million given to the GFA by FIFA and ‘not just the $4 million loaned to them by the government.’

The Minister revealed that in an earlier communication, the Dzamefe Commission had ‘raised concerns about any decisions being made about the use of the funds whilst the Commission has not yet finished its work.’

He confirmed that they had been informed in a letter of the GFA’s intention to refund the $4 million loan to the government following FIFA’s payment of the money for the appearance fees.

‘I received a letter from the FA that they have received money from [FIFA] in respect of their participation in the World Cup 2014 and they want to refund the $4,003,000 that was given to them by government to pay the footballers and the technical team in Brazil and other expenses. Earlier on, we had met when they returned from Brazil to discuss the subject of the proceeds of their participation and there was an understanding that the money that was the subject of so much controversy was not a gift but a loan,’ he said.

The Minister also revealed that the President of the GFA had been made aware of the Commission’s directive when he came to present the cheque for the refund.

‘The GFA President informed me that he had brought the cheque on Thursday and I also informed him that I had received a letter from the Commission that he should hand the entire amount to the Ministry to keep pending the outcome of the inquiry. And we intend to respect the correspondence from the Commission. So I will forward the letter to him and request that they forward the entire amount of the money to the Ministry of Youth and Sports,’ explained Mr. Ayariga.

The Sports Minister Sports, Mahama Ayariga revealed that, in an earlier meeting, the GFA had suggested that the rest of the money from FIFA would go into the development of football in the country.

However, the Ministry took a position that ‘the money should go in to the development of sports in general. That the investment should not only go into football but into other sports as well.’

Mr. Ayariga said that they had told the GFA to ‘bring a set of proposals regarding infrastructure and programs in the area of football and the Ministry will bring proposals regarding other sports. So that we will put the set of proposals together and send to the President for him to approve and then we can come back  and jointly implement a program to develop football and the other sporting disciplines.’

However, it is unclear how this proposal would be affected by the recent developments.

The GFA president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, said that they had received notice  of the cancellation of the press conference on Thursday when they had arrived to present the cheque to the Sports Minister, hinting that the cancellations were as a result of the concerns raise by the Dzamefe Commission and would wait on an official communication from the Sports Ministry.

He told Allsports in an interview: I don’t know the exact reasons but our meeting with the Minister indicated that there were some concerns that were expressed by the Commission of Inquiry and those concerns will be passed onto the GFA so we are waiting to receive a letter from the minister on that. and then we can give out an appropriate response’

‘We were informed just at the last minute that the press conference had been called off. Nevertheless, we had prepared our cheque with an accompanying letter. We came around to present the letter to the office of minister. I can confirm to you that we have presented a cheque of $4 million which is an amount that was advanced as a loan to the Black Stars for the payment of appearance fees to players and officials,’ he added.

He confirmed that the refund was per an earlier agreement with the government that any money that was paid by the government as appearance fees for the Players of the Black Stars would be refunded once FIFA had paid the GFA.

‘The repayment is in furtherance of an agreement with government as far back as March 2104, that whatever amount monies that was paid by government would be refunded on receipt of the same amount from Fifa. Fifa has thankfully paid the GFA the appearance fee. so we are just complying with the agreement we reached with government. It is the same thing that happened in 2006 and 2010,’ explained Mr. Nyantakyi.

He indicated that a decision would be made by the GFA when their executive committee meets on Friday.

The Black Stars’ participation developed a lot of international attention when the government airlifted $4 million dollars in order to pay the appearance fees of the players who had reportedly threatened to forfeit their final World Cup game, a situation President Mahama described as necessary.

Credit: Edwin Kwakofi|Citifmonline.com

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