The Minister of Youth and Sports Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah says that the allegations that are been leveled against him and his ministry over the proposed budget for the Black Stars World Cup participation are wrong.
The astute politician insists they have only presented a temporary budget to government awaiting to send the full budget for his department after the recent visit to Brazil to ascertain the exact cost the country would incur when it participates in the 2014 World Cup.
The Minority in Parliament on Tuesday accused the minister and his deputy for not been straight forward with the precise amount that is needed for the Black Stars participation at next year’s competition.
The claims have generated a lot of debate within the Sporting fraternity but Speaking to XYZ Sports Mr Afriyie Ankrah said the budget they presented to Parliament is for the entire Sporting disciplines and not only for the Black Stars.
The Minister says the Ghana Football Association is yet to submit their budget to the Ministry for consideration and makes it difficult to draw up a precise budget for the team.
“First of all as I sit here as Minister for Youth and Sports I have not received any budget from the FA concerning the cost of participation in the World Cup tournament in Brazil,” Mr Afriyie Ankrah told XYZ Sports.
“That cost of participation would include the cost of preparation that is camping, and then the cost of our base where we are going to be and all the other related cost i.e. bonuses, traveling expenses etc.
“I know that the FA is been having meetings and consultations with the various stakeholders trying to work all these things out.
“We just came back from Brazil less than two weeks ago and we went to various sites where we were looking at the possibility of having our camp and all these things need to be worked out to the last detail”
“Based on that Brazil is a very big country the traveling distances are very far”
“For instance within Brazil you can travel by Air for over three hours so that should tell how big that country is so you factor all those things in and you ensure that you take care of any contingency so they haven’t brought us any cost yet”
“However because we were going to do a budget presentation, when we’re doing the budget estimates every Ministry does estimates and projections so on that bases we did estimates and projections because the last World Cup we were looking at a figure of about GH17 million cedis so based on those projections we were looking at GH24 million cedis and that is what we sent to the Ministry of Finance”
“However our entire request was over GH90 million cedis”
“The budget that was approved for the entire Ministry was about GH36 million cedis so we can’t begin to base any discussion on GH24 million cedis projections which has been rendered totally null and void by the fact that the budget approved by Parliament is GH36 million cedis so it’s been quite talking behind the scene and cooking”
“We are not coming out yet because there are still bits and pieces, boats and nuts that we are tying and once that is cleared we will come and let the media and Ghanaians know everything”
“So I sincerely believe that the allegations have been wrongly directed,” Mr Afriyie Ankrah concluded.