10 October 2016

Parliament to mediate in GFA, Sports Minister standoff

gffaParliament Youth and Sports Committee has hinted of its readiness to intervene in the impasse between the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye.

Member of the Committee Kwadwo Baah Agyeman says they are compelled to intervene because of the worsening nature of the relationship which, if not curtailed would affect the chances of the country in the “AFCON and a match with Russia.”

“Our responsibility is to oversee these agencies and ministry under our jurisdiction. I have spoken to some of our members and I know that by Thursday we will end the matter,” he told Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh, host of Newsnite programme.

The GFA and the Minister have both been breathing fire on each other’s neck over handlings of football activities in the country.

Mr Vanderpuye had earlier described the Association as cow dung that is magnificent and beautiful on the surface but stinks and filled with maggots beneath.

The FA rebutted saying it will not allow some government functionaries to run down its leadership as though it has no clue of what it is doing.

The nation’s senior team the Blackstars is expected to have an encounter with the  Rwanda over the weekend in a Nations Cup qualifier but attempts by the FA to have the Minister pay for the flight tickets of players abroad have been met with cold treatment.

Deputy Captain of the Blackstars Dede Ayew has promised to foot the flight ticket of those of his colleagues who would be unable to afford it.

The standoff between the Association and the Minister has gained international attention with some sports pundits describing it as outlandish. They believe a media battle on football issues will not help matters.

Even though the Committee has not been officially notified about happenings, Mr Agyeman said they picked the signal during a stakeholders meeting they held in July.

According to him, at that meeting, “one Mr Doku raised the attention” of the Committee to the problem but they advised that the matter be formally channeled to the Committee.

Vice Chairman of the Blackstars Management Committee, Wilfred Osei, says the team has refused to let the current impasse distract them from putting up a good performance over the weekend.

“We have epic encounter with Russia and you don’t go into such game with the kind of controversy going on in the country,” he said.

With the exception of Blackstars Captain Asamoah Gyan and Christian Atsu, he said: “most of the players have confirmed their arrival.”

He explained the two had delayed their arrival because of contractual issues with their clubs.

Full of praise for the players, Mr Osei said: “If you have set of players who are willing to buy their own plane tickets it shows the kind of confidence they have in the FA.”

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