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Govt bails out amputee team

BY: Peter Sarbah
The victorious national amputee team
The victorious national amputee team

 The government has gone to the rescue of the victorious national amputee team which sent an SOS message for return tickets to enable them to return home after winning the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Tanzania.

The eight-member squad is currently said to be in Turkey where most of them ply their trade and are scheduled to arrive in the country today.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in an interview yesterday, the President of the Ghana Paralympic Committee, Mr Samson Deen, said he was aware that the Ministry of Youth and Sports had responded to the team’s call by dispatching air tickets to enable them to travel to Accra with the trophy.

Explaining why the team participated in the competition without support from the state, Mr Deen said a legal tussle between two feuding factions over who should head the Amputee Federation resulted in the team's inability to present a budget to the Ministry for financial assistance for the trip.

Self-sponsorship

This resulted in a situation where the players had to mobilise their own resources to enable them to participate in the continental competition.

''The Ministry has issued tickets to them so they will be in Ghana tomorrow (Wednesday) evening from Turkey by Turkish Airlines and that they were not stranded as the media wanted it to look.

''There is a leadership problem and we've been going to court since 2018. There are two factions: the original faction is Ghana Amputees Association, which is headed by Rev. Richard Adesah, who is recognised by the government.”

According to Mr Deen, their tenure ended in 2015 but an injunction prior to the election occasioned a suspension of the election. However, Prof. Peter Twumasi, the Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), decided to institute an Interim Management Committee which was headed by Bawa Fuseini.

Factions

The other faction, which he said called itself Amputee Federation, again injuncted the decision, ''claiming that because they have registered the Federation with the Registrar General they have the utmost right to spearhead the affairs of amputee sports in Ghana.”

Mr Deen, who is also the president of the Africa Paralympic Committee, said because the case had dragged in court, there was no leadership to apply for assistance from government which was why the team decided to mobilise their own funds to enable them participate in the competition.

He, however, congratulated the team for winning the tournament which they participated in with only one player on the reserve bench and no mandatory technical and administrative staff and a coach, which he described as unique.