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Commonwealth Games 2018: Ghana to launch probe into detained 'journalists' debacle

Author: Kwame Larweh
The Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robert Sarfo Mensah
The Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robert Sarfo Mensah

The Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robert Sarfo Mensah says a probe would be launched into what led to the detention of some Ghanaians by Australian Immigration authorities after they travelled to the country for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

There have been multiple media reports about some Ghanaians parading as journalists who have been apprehended by the Australian Immigration Authorities for failing to answer queries related to the journalism profession.

But denying his involvement and that of his outfit, Mr Mensah reiterated the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Hadzide's order for an investigation into the matter and noted that closure would be brought to the matter.

Explaining how such an incident may have occurred, Mr Mensah opined a theory that a long list of eligible athletes were proposed for Visa considerations ahead of the games which were accessed by the Australian authorities.

However, after the final list of 72 athletes and officials were confirmed, some rejected athletes and officials may have travelled on the blind side of the Ghana Olympic Committee and the Chef De Mission of the games Mohammed Sahnoon and hence such an occurrence.

He affirmed that visas were cancelled for those not part of the final list and subsequently those who forced their way through were nabbed by immigration authorities in Australia.

He denied ever soliciting for GHC15,000 to GHC22,000 from anyone to process visas for such a person.

He also denied that neither the NSA, nor the Ministry are involved in media accreditation for any media house or media person willing to cover for games.

"I want to make it clear that we at NSA and at the Ministry do not process media accreditation, all accreditations are done by the GOC and the Chef De Mission", he stated.

He called for circumspection and accurate reportage of issues relating to the incident.