The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has vehemently denied any claims suggesting that the Association has submitted a budget to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for the African Cup of Nations to be staged in Gabon from January 14 next year.
The Black Stars will be seeking to win the tournament again since 1982, but preparations seems to be taking a nosedive already due to the unending row between the GFA and the current Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye.
Contrary to reports in some sections of the local media that the GFA has sent a budget proposal to the Ministry, which has been referred back to the GFA for some adjustments, the GFA has said they are not aware of any such dealings with the Ministry.
In an interview with the GNA sports, the Communications Director of the Football Association, Ibrahim Saani Daara said the GFA has not, and will not present any budget for the Black Stars ahead of the Afcon to the Ministry.
“Absolutely not, the GFA has not submitted a budget to the Ministry of Youth and Sports because we are aware of an established agenda of trying to paint the FA negatively through the intentional leaking of budgets we send to the ministry, calculated to paint us (FA) in a bad light.
“We prepare budgets not on the basis that we want to ‘chop” some money but this is sent out to the public to portray us (FA) as profligate people who want to basically loot state coffers. So at a point we decided that we were not going to put together any budget again to avoid being accused.
“So it is surprising that somebody will say the GFA has sent any budget.” Saani exclaimed.
He said to satisfy both parties, the GFA will only send a template of things the team will need to perform to its utmost best so that the Ministry can attach its own figures.
“We won’t do any budget. We will send a requisition that this is what we want for the team to do well. And they (Ministry) will put the figures there, so if they leak the figures to the media then they can carry their own can”
Mr Saani Daara however said the GFA feels ” terrible” with how the sports Minister is riding on the back of the country’s financial troubles to blame the FA, adding that, “this is calculated ( to make the FA look bad). Because the country is going through difficulties, immediately they ask for money people think otherwise, so some people in authority are chancing on that to the blind side of the public who don’t know what is really going on behind them.
“It is pathetic that people would want to go that low just to paint the Federation or its officials bad. This is what has brought us to where we are today. The team needs to perform well so the earlier it stops the better.”
Saani Daara said the GFA has a good relation with the Ministry but only has a problem with the sitting Minister.
“The GFA has worked with several Ministers both within the NDC and NPP governments and we have worked well. It’s just that, to be honest, since Nii Lantey Vanderpuye took over his posturing is not helping.”
Meanwhile, the Black Stars are expected to start a non-residential camping in Accra on January 28 before moving into camp in Dubai to prepare ahead of the tournament.