Athletics federation, Bissah ready to smoke peace pipe — Deputy Minister

BY: Bernard Neequaye
Pius Enam Hadzide — Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports
Pius Enam Hadzide — Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports

The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide, has revealed that the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) are willing to put to rest the existing feud with young athlete, Martha Bissah, following a fruitful discussion between the federation and the ministry.

Mr Hadzide gave an assurance that everything was in place to ensure that Martha returned to action for the country as soon as possible with next year's Commonwealth Games around the corner.

He told the Graphic Sports that the ministry would do everything within their means to bring sanity between themselves.

According to the deputy minister, it was not financially prudent for the ministry to invite Martha to Ghana from her US base to sort out her future without any competition lined up for her, but he remained hopeful the matter would be resolved soon.

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"The feud would be solved soon and after fruitful discussions with the GAA I can tell you that they are willing to put the matter to rest.

"We will do everything within our means to ensure Martha returns to action for the country as soon as possible," Mr Hadzide said on the sidelines of a one-day Stakeholder Consultative Forum on a proposed Sports Fund held in Accra last week.

Martha, after winning gold at the 2014 Youth Olympics in the Chinese city of Nanjing, endured a frustrating time with the GAA for allegedly accusing GAA president, Prof. Francis Dodoo, of attempt to extort money from her, comments the athletics governing body said had brought its image into disrepute.

She was subsequently suspended from GAA activities and also from representing Ghana at international competitions, with the federation insisting the Norfolk State University student must render a public apology before her ban would be lifted.