Ghana earmarks 2014 World Cup cash for modern sports complex
The government of Ghana proposes to spend part of its World Cup participation fee to construct a modern Sports Complex, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, minister of Youth and Sports, has disclosed.
According to him, the sports complex will also have an Olympic size swimming pool, modern boxing gymnasium as well as other facilities.
The minister disclosed this when he took his turn in the Meet- The-Press series organized for various government ministries to throw light on activities and major policy issues.
In 2013, Ghana won 25 medals comprising 11 gold, eight silver and six bronze at the International Swimfest Competition in Arnsberg, Germany, while the Black Cranes won 19 medals at the 2013 African Weightlifting Championship held in Morocco.
Furthermore, the country in 2013 won bronze in disabled sports at the International Paracycling Road and Time Trial in Canada, won gold at the International Cricket Council, Africa Regional Division 2 U-19 Cricket Tournament in South Africa.
In table-tennis, Ghana won one gold and three silver medals in the West Africa Zone 3 U-15 and 18 Junior Championships held in Accra.
All these achievements in 2013 came out of the initiatives of individual sportsmen and women as well as some private institutions since the country does not have training facilities at national level for such sports.
“This proposed complex is to enable us to have Olympic standard facilities for sporting disciplines such as swimming, weight-lifting, boxing, kick-boxing, martial arts and many others, ” the minister explained.
During its maiden appearance in the World Cup in 2006, Ghana received 8.0 million U.S dollars from the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA).
Part of this money was used for the development in football in the country.
In 2010, Ghana received 14 million dollars but controversy ensued over the use of the money.
Therefore the then Minister for Sports Akua Dansua and the Ghana Football Authority (GFA) handed over to the government 11 million dollars of the amount which was paid into the consolidated fund.
“The money was put into the Consolidated Fund and the whole country benefited from its use,” Afriyie-Ankrah responded to a question from the media as to how the 2014 appearance fee was spent.
This was against the backdrop of the government’s sole financing role of the national teams that participate in all FIFA organized international tournaments, with no tangible financial returns accruing to the state.
To the Ghanaian government, if the state bears the complete cost of participation by national teams in these FIFA tournaments, it stands to reason that any financial returns accruing to the senior national team must also go back to replenish the stock, and help develop other sporting disciplines.