Ghana’s Ministry of Sport this weekend carried a sum of $200,000 in cash on a plane to Rwanda to pay the Black Stars.
The problem with this action is that it flies in the face of well-publicised recommendations from the Justice Senyo Dzamefe Commission set up to look into the 2014 World Cup debacle – the same fiasco predicated on the flight of over $3 million from Accra to Brasilia in cash.
Just like in the case of the Brazil fiasco, Joy Sports understands that the sports ministry transported the money to avoid another standoff with the powerful national team players.
This was as a result of the fact that the players had been patient with the government for not paying bonuses owed since June, when the team beat Mauritius 7-1 in Accra and Togo 1-0 in a friendly.
A high-powered government delegation led by sector minister Dr Mustapha Ahmed made sure each player got $10,000 on the eve of the game.
Update: The money was actually used to pay the players and officials for beating Mauritius in June. The Stars have NOT been paid for beating Rwanda on Saturday. It is not clear when that will be done.
It will be recalled the the Dzamefe Commission, in its report, expressly made clear that only ways of payment should be made to players and officials on national team assignments, which are:
a) Bank transfers to the accounts of all beneficiaries
b) Order cheques in the name of the beneficiaries.
It is important to note that Unibank, one of the team’s major sponsors, have repeatedly stated their willingness to ensure that electronic transfers are done in Ghana, negating the need for the risky flight of so much money.
But the government, in contravention of the tax-funded and widely applauded recommendation of the Dzamefe Commission, has done it again.
It is also not clear if the team’s headline sponsor, GNPC, are aware of this continuing practice at a time when the very amounts being paid to the Black Stars is a matter of serious public debate.
Ministry officials were unavailable for comment. And it’s also not clear if John Boye, who played 90 minutes on Saturday, kissed his wad of cash like he famously did in Brazil.