Highly emotional ex Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah shed tears in testimony to World Cup commission
Former Minister of Sports Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah gives evidence before the 2014 World Cup Presidential Commission currently ongoing at the Media Center of the Accra Sports Stadium.
– Justice Senyo Dzamefe ends today’s sitting. The commission resumes its work on Monday where the former Minister is to re-appear as well as co-ordinator Fred Darko.
– A video and still picture footage being showed of the supporters’ conditions during their time in the Natal camp in Brazil.
– He debunks allegations against him that he was spending money on women in Brazil, that his wife offered catering services for the fans and so on.
– An emotional Elvis Afriyie Ankrah throws a challenge to anyone who has evidence of corruption or embezzlement against him should come forth.
– The ex Sports Minister says given the opportunity, he wouldn’t have source for sponsorship to take supporters to Brazil.
– The ex Sports Minister appears to be suggesting preferential treatment to some players in the Black Stars. Citing the absence of some of the players from the opening preparations held in Ghana.
– The ex Sports Minister is unambiguous in their mind that payments to players of the national team be done through the banking system and not the traditional mode of cash payment.
– Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah says he is not aware of any tax deductions to the monies paid to the players.
– Ex Sports Minister says he was deeply depressed after the defeat to Portugal because he had so much confidence in the team and all that went into the preparations.
– The ex Sports Minister says morale was surprisingly high despite the Muntari debacle and the sacking of both Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Morale was high primarily due to the monies they received – the $100,000.
– The ex Sports Minister believes sanctions should have been issued to a Black Stars earlier which he believes snow-balled into the Sulley Muntari debacle.
– A teary Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah says he was devastated to find out the players didn’t train for two sessions ahead of the final group game against Portugal. The ex Sports Minister is getting highly emotional with few drops of tears. He is being urged by the commission chairman to take it easy. Proceedings being delayed for the ex sports minster to regain his composure.
– The ex Sports Minister reluctantly agrees the performance of the players would have possibly soared had the money been paid immediately after the game against Germany.
– Ex Sports Minister also reveals President John Mahama called the team in the dressing room ahead of the second group game against Germany to re-assure them that their $100,000 appearance fee will be paid.
– The main issue in Brazil according to the ex sports minister was the appearance fee for the group matches. He however appears not sure whether the Ministry had the capacity for further payments had the team progressed.
– Ghana was going to lose 17% in tax charges if payments had gone through the banks, according to the former Sports Minister.
– Bank restrictions in Brazil meant the quantum of money sought couldn’t have been transacted through the banks, according to ex Sports Minister. The ex Sports Minister having assessed all these complexities decided to consult National Security.
– The ex Sports Minister says he did thorough consultation and reached the conclusion that airlifting the cash from Ghana was the best option.
– The players then rejected the use of the master card as mode of payment after approval was given for increment. “I then dispatched the Chief Director and the Chief Accountant based on the body language of the players to go and get us the money [cash] anyhow,” Ex Sports Minister.
– The ex Sports Minister says it became necessary for him to seek approval from the Vice President [for increment] when the coach – Kwesi Appiah – showed concern over the lingering dispute over monies to be paid to the Black Stars players.
– Ex Sports Minister met with the Vice President – Kwesi Amissah Arthur – in Brazil. The Vice President was in Brazil at the time to witness the opening game of the 2014 World Cup (between Brazil and Croatia). Aanalysis were made and he [Vice President] gave approval that the players’ demands of $100,000 be paid since any increment was going to be sourced from the FIFA prize money which will eventually be paid to the GFA anyway.
– The ex Sports Minister says he is not aware of the origin of the concept of appearance fees.
– “The FA officials were distraught, troubled after negotiations with the players proved unsuccessful,” ex Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah.
– The issue of mode of payment was not an issue as UniBank had agreed to hand the players a master card. Those discussions according to the ex Sports Minister, were handled by the Ghana FA ie mode of payments.
– There was a stalemate after negotiations in Rotterdam over the amount to be paid to the Black Stars.
– He [ Ex Sports Minister] also told them the amount of $82,500 could not be changed as that was what had been approved by cabinet.
– The trio presented the Black Stars’ case of insufficient monies intended to be paid to them for the World Cup. The ex Sports Minister in-turn appealed to them citing reasons such us the economic situation, the public reaction and the need for them to be patriotic.
– Captain Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari and Michael Essien acted as spokespersons for the Black Stars team, according to the former Sports Minister.
– Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah says there was the needed for him to be with the team throughout the training tour up to the time the team entered Brazil because he was the leader of the delegation.
– The ex Sports Minister is not sure whether the accompanying account officer from the Sports Ministry with the Black Stars paid money in terms of per diems to the players and officials during the friendly matches.
– This amount mobilized by the Chief of Staff’s office is however exclusive of the over GHS4m collected as sponsorship monies by the World Cup Planning Committee.
– “The government of Ghana did not bail us out but the office of the Chief of Staff mobilized resources to pay for the flights,” according to the ex Sports Minister.
– Ex Sports Minister says a company was mandated to collect sponsorship monies on behalf of the World Cup Planning Committee but the unnamed company did not collect any sponsorship.