Afriyie Ankrah justifies flying of cash to Black Stars in Brazil

Author: Rosalind K. Amoh
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah defends decision to fly cash to Black Stars in Brazil at 2014 World Cup
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah defends decision to fly cash to Black Stars in Brazil at 2014 World Cup

Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah,insists flying the $3million cash to the national team, the Black Stars, was the best decision as it averted a bigger embarrassment the nation would have faced at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

According to Mr Afriyie Ankrah, the level of trust between the Stars and the managers had dropped so low that the players were not ready to have any compromise aside receiving their bonuses in cash.

Speaking on Point Blank on Citi FM's Eyewitness News, Mr Afriyie Ankrah, who was the Minister then, said: "I still believe it was the best decision because the players would have it no other way, so the action was taken to avert a worse scenario.

"The players insisted on receiving their agreed appearance bonus of $100,000 each even before the tournament started and they had threatened to boycott the very first game if they were not paid the money in cash.

"Under the circumstance, the then Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, who was with the team, intervened and that is how the arrangement was made to send the money directly," the former Minister explained.

At the 2014 World Cup, government sent the $3m cash through a chartered flight to the Stars in Brazil, after the players had threatened to boycott  their remaining group matches over the delay in paymen of their apperance bonuses.

The Stars threatened to boycott the 2014 World Cup match against Portugal if they did not receive their appearance bonuses before the game

The Black Stars had refused to fly out from their team camp base in Maceio to Brasilia for their then must-win clash against Portugal.

While the then energetic Minister was unapologetic about that action, he nonetheless admitted that making that action public as was reported by the international media, was bad press for the country and the action was misconstrued.

Also on the programme, the former Sports Minister said he felt former Ghana Football Association (GFA) president, Kwesi Nyantakyi should have bowed out of office when the applause was loudest.

Afriyie Ankrah, who worked with Nyantakyi believed he had a lot of positives and made an enormous impact on Ghana football which should have been his legacy.

“I think that Kwesi Nyantakyi should have left when the applaud was loudest. If he is being honest with himself, he had given clear indications that he was going to leave,” Afriyie Ankrah said on Point Blank on Citi Eyewitness News Wednesday night.

“This should be a lesson to all of us, especially politicians who hold elective positions; you leave when the applause is loudest. All these things wouldn’t have gotten this bad if he had stuck with his decision to leave.

“That’s the lesson we can all draw from this. You leave when the applause is loudest. Despite his foibles, he had done so much and he should have just left,” Afriyie Ankrah told host Umaru Sanda Amadu.

Following the post Anas number 12 documentary several Ghana football administrators and over 100 referees were implicated for tarnishing the reputation of the game.

The exposé led to the resignation of GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi, while over 70 referees were handed various bans by the Confederation of African Football and the Referees Association of Ghana.