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No GNPC money for Black Stars?

Ghana’s Black Stars could face financial challenges following the Parliament of Ghana’s rejection of a budgetary allocation by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to cover the company’s annual sponsorship of the senior national football team.

The situation leaves the Ghana Football Association (GFA) in a dilemma as GNPC since 2013 has been the Stars’  Headline Sponsor who paid the national coach’s salary and also supported some activities of the team.

GNPC is funded from the Consolidated Fund for which Parliament must first approve of their budget. And when GNPC officials appeared before the Parliamentary sub-committee on Mines and Energy to defend their budget, the legislators said in no uncertain terms that they would not sanction an expenditure of $3 million on the national team.

The position of Parliament as explained to the media by Mr Osei-Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs who doubles as the Majority Leader and Leader of Government Business, contradicted the position of the Minister of Youth and Sports who stated emphatically that the GNPC sponsorship had not been abrogated.

Instead, the minister told the media last Monday that the GNPC money would be paid directly to the ministry which would in turn disburse it to the GFA as a means of ensuring greater transparency and accountability.

However, investigations conducted by the Graphic Sports can reveal that the approved allocation for the GNPC from the Consolidated Fund did not include a budget line for the Black Stars this year, even though the contract between the company and the GFA has not been abrogated yet.

Insiders into the sponsorship explained that technically, the deal is to be renewed annually based on some key performance indicators (KPIs) to be fulfilled by both parties as set out in the contract.

The GNPC budget approved by the Parliament of Ghana, the Graphic Sports has learnt, has only $750,000 as budgetary allocation for sports but not necessarily tied to the Black Stars. Of GNPC’s allocation to support sporting activities this year, $100,000 has been committed to sponsoring Ghana’s Fastest Human athletics competition, which was officially launched yesterday in Accra by President Nana Akufo-Addo.

“No decision has been taken on whether or not to abrogate the contract. Things have not been finalised, and any decision taken on the sponsorship would be communicated to the GFA,” an official of GNPC told the Graphic Sports yesterday on condition of anonymity.

“As of now, no one can say categorically that it’s yes or no.”

Inside sources at GNPC told this paper that the company would be willing to consider any proposal from the Sports Ministry that seeks to tap into the remaining $650,000 of their sports funds to support the salary of the Black Stars coach.




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