Ghana's sports minister Ankrah and deputy fired over World Cup fiasco
Ghana’s President John Mahama has taken a bold decision by removing Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah and his deputy in the wake of the country’s disastrous outing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, GHANAsoccernet.com can exclusively reveal.
The decision to remove the minister and his deputy Joseph Yamin from their positions comes just 48 hours after the country crashed out of the World Cup amid chaos in the camp over long overdue appearance fees for players which drew some worldwide embarrassment for the country.
The position will be taken over by Information Minister, Mahama Ayariga (MP) with a firebrand Vincent Oppong Asamoah named as his deputy as they seek to recover from the disgrace the bonus saga brought the country.
Ankrah, who is a powerful member of the ruling NDC party and played the key role of being President Mahama’s successful election campaign, has been moved to the non-so-influential post of Minister at the Presidency while Yamin will go the the Ashanti Region as the deputy minister.
“President John Mahama has reassigned Information Minister, Mahama Ayariga (MP), to the Ministry of Youth and Sports. He replaces Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah who moves to the Presidency as a Minister of State,” a statement from government communications exclusively seen by GHANAsoccernet.com read.
“Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Joseph Yammin moves to the Ashanti Region to take over from Joseph Alexander Ackon who has been reassigned to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection as the second deputy.
“Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Vincent Oppong Asamoah, will be moving to the Ministry of Youth and Sports as Deputy Minister.”
Ankrah paid the price of the country’s embarrassment at the World Cup as monies supposed to be paid to players before the start of the tournament was not paid by the government.
Players were patient and played their hearts out in their first two matches at the World Cup before threatening to pull the plug on the tournament knowing that their elimination could mean their monies will not be paid.
Ghana’s players missed training in Brasilia on Tuesday before their final Group G match against Portugal on Thursday because of the row over fees.
Instead of playing football and preparing for the game, which they lost 2-1, the players held a series of meetings to discuss the matter and the nation’s president, John Mahama, later stepped in to try to resolve the dispute.
The die was cast for Ankrah when the President stepped in to personally speak with the players while Yamin looks to have been removed because of his statements that monies to be paid to the Black Stars have been released by cash and airlifted to Brazil. This exposed the Black Stars to danger and also international ridicule.