Afriyie Ankrah Faces Firing Squad Today

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Key Questions Pop Up, As Flagstaff House Leaks Brazil World Cup Budget

Some issues of mismanagement of the taxpayers’ money at the FIFA World Cup tournament, which raised eyebrows will be laid to rest today as one of the main architects in Ghana’s poor showings in Brazil, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, mounts the Justice Senyo Dzemefe’s Commission witness box.

Among the tall list of questions the ex-Sports Minister is to provide answers to, are issues of accountability, conflict of interest and nepotism, with respect to the roles his junior brother, Yaw Ampofo-Ankrah, played before and during the country’s participation in the tournament.

The three- man commission, was setup by President John Dramani Mahama, to delve into circumstances surrounding Ghana’s abysmal performance at the World Cup tournament organized by FIFA in Brazil.

Also begging for answers from the immediate past Minister for Youth and Sports, is whether or not, he flew his immediate family made up of his wife and children to the tournament at the expense of the state.

It is also claimed by a New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) activist, CK Amoah on Breeze FM on Monday that, he has information that Mr. Afriyie Ankrah transported huge dollar bills to Brazil and even opened a private bank account in that country, where he deposited the cash running into millions.

There are also claims that his wife, offered catering services to the Ghana Village in Natal, where Ghanaian fans stayed during the tournament. Ghanaians are anxiously waiting for some answers.

Another interesting issue on the list of soccer fans, is the poor accommodation for the fans, the roles and mode of engagement of the ambassadors made up of actors, actresses and musicians, and how much they were paid and where the money came from.

Mr. Afriyie Ankrah, is also expected to respond to the claims of one Kennedy Agyapong of Kenpong Travels and Tours, and other companies, which were supposed to transport fans to the tournament.

Additionally, the ex-Sports Minister, is also expected to respond to his engagement of a private airline; Dynamic Airlines, which had no permit to operate domestic flights in Brazil, besides it being faulty and nearly killed some football fans.

Indeed, hundreds of fans, were left at the Natal Airport and were unable to watch the Ghana-Germany game in Fortaleza.

Furthermore, Mr. Afriyie Ankrah is expected to answer whether or not he publicly fought a Ghanaian fan on the streets of Brazil, following disagreements over his handling of issues with respect to the accommodation and food in the Ghana Village.

Also on the bill is the player-revolt, which subsequently led to the suspension of Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince-Boateng from camp.

Also worthy of note is the actual and total amount of money the government spent on the tournament as there is already a leaked document, that government approved a US$9.6 million budget for the Black Stars participation in the 2014 World Cup.

A leaked copy of the Ghana FA’s original budget records a total amount of US$14,792,821.2, with a detailed breakdown of the amounts according to the various stages of the Coppa Mundial.

The leaked copy of Ghana’s 2014 World Cup budget with the reference number WE 251/272/02 dated May 14, 2014 and signed by Mr. Afriyie Ankrah as presented to the office of the Chief of Staff at the Flag Staff House.

Group Stage Budgetary Breakdown
According to the leaked budget, the GFA needed an amount of US$4,122,297.6 to fund the Black Stars participation at the group stage of the World Cup. Since FIFA was responsible for flying the participating team squads into Brazil, the GFA through the Ministry of Youth and Sports requested for US$157,500 to fund the return air tickets for GFA officials from Accra to Amsterdam to Rio and back.

Another sum of US$157,500 was requested for the payment of the accommodation and feeding costs for the officials for 14 days at US$750 per day. The Per Diem allowance for each of the 15 officials stood at US$150, meaning government was expected to provide US$31,500 in total. US$3,000 was also need to pay for the visas fees of the 15 officials.

Government also paid US$3,157,893.6 for the appearance fees for 40 – not 23 – Black Stars players and officials, which is 5% tax inclusive. The GFA proposed a 10% increase in appearance fees for the team meaning government was supposed to add an extra amount of US$315,788.4. The budget also outlined a 10% increase in the qualification bonus for 40 Black Stars players and officials for US$2,492.63 per head in one group game totalling US$299,115.6 over three group matches, which is 5% tax inclusive.

Round Of 16 Stage Budgetary Breakdown
If Ghana had reached the Round of 16 stage of the World Cup, government would have been required to spend a total of US$1,713,691.6 with US$78,750 covering the accommodation and feeding costs of 15 additional GFA officials for 7 days at US$750 per day. Another sum of US$112,500 was requested to cover the accommodation and feeding costs of another set of 15 GFA officials for 10 days at the same US$750 per day. The appearance fees for 40 Black Stars players and officials, which is 5% tax inclusive, covered a total of US$1,263,157.6. The 10% increase in appearance fees for the 40 Black Stars players and officials came up to a total of US$126,315.6. Another 10% increase in the Black Stars qualification bonus for the Round of 16 stages for 40 players and officials stood at US$132,968.4.

Quarter Final Stage Budgetary Breakdown
If the Black Stars had managed a qualification to the quarter final stage of the World Cup, the GFA would have expected a total of US$1,944,783.6 to cover the team’s expenses at the last 8. Government would have been required to spend US$45,000 on the accommodation and feeding costs of 15 additional GFA officials for 4 days at US$750 per day. Another sum of US$112,500 was requested to cover the accommodation and feeding costs of another set of 15 GFA officials for 10 days at the same US$750 per day. The appearance fees for 40 Black Stars players and officials, which is 5% tax inclusive, covered a total of US$1,473,684. The 10% increase in appearance fees for the 40 Black Stars players and officials came up to a total of US$147,368. Another 10% increase in the Black Stars qualification bonus for the quarter final stage for 40 players and officials stood at US$166,231.

Semi Final Stage Budgetary Breakdown
According to the budget, the breakdown for the last 4 stage would have come to a total of US$2,041,162.8 with US$45,000 and US$112,500 covering the accommodation and feeding costs of 30 GFA officials respectively. The appearance fees for 40 Black Stars players and officials, which is 5% tax inclusive, covered a total of US$1,684,201.4. The 10% increase in the Black Stars qualification bonus for the semi final stage for 40 players and officials stood at US$199,452.4.

Third Place Budgetary Breakdown
The government would have been required to pay a total of US$2,365,618 if Ghana had reached the third place play-off. US$33,750 and US$112,500 would have been used to fund the accommodation and feeding costs of 30 GFA officials respectively as done in the earlier stages of the competition. The appearance fees for 40 Black Stars players and officials, which is 5% tax inclusive, covers a total of US$1,894,736.8. The 10% increase in the Black Stars appearance fees stood at US$189,473 while the qualification bonus for the third place match came up to US$135,157.6.

Budgetary Breakdown For Final
In the concluding part of the leaked budget, government would have been required to pay a total of US$2,605,267.6 for the funding of the Black Stars if the team had had stayed in competition long enough to reach the final. US$33,750 and US$33,750 would have been used to fund the accommodation and feeding costs of 30 GFA officials respectively. The appearance fees for 40 Black Stars players and officials, which is 5% tax inclusive, covers a total of US$1,473,684. The 10% increase in the Black Stars appearance fees stood at US$767,999.6 while the qualification bonus for the grand finale came up to US$296,084.

But, was the GFA’s US$14,792,821.2 2014 World Cup budget presented to government though the Ministry of Youth and Sports approved? That’s a big question also crying for answers.

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