Ball boy makes $100,000 appearance fee: Ghana FA to challenge report on World Cup money

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) will challenge the findings of an inquiry which questioned how more than US$3.5 million (Dh12.9m) meant for the team’s preparations for last year’s World Cup was used.
Al Ain's Asamoah Gyan, right and Michael Essien of Ghana show their dejection after their Fifa World Cup group match against the USA at the Estadio Arena das Dunas Stadium in Natal, Brazil, 16 June 2014. The USA won 2-1. EPA/MARIUS BECKER
Al Ain's Asamoah Gyan, right and Michael Essien of Ghana show their dejection after their Fifa World Cup group match against the USA at the Estadio Arena das Dunas Stadium in Natal, Brazil, 16 June 2014. The USA won 2-1. EPA/MARIUS BECKER

ACCRA, GHANA // The Ghana Football Association (GFA) will challenge the findings of an inquiry which questioned how more than US$3.5 million (Dh12.9m) meant for the team’s preparations for last year’s World Cup was used.

The GFA also said on Saturday it was offended by the inquiry’s description of an equipment manager who received a $100,000 appearance fee for the World Cup in Brazil as a “ball boy.”

A report released this month said the GFA must explain how it spent $1.5m from Fifa and another $2m from the state-run Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

Also, GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi, a senior African football executive, should account for $200,000 given to him by the government to organise a friendly match ahead of the World Cup, the inquiry’s report said.

In response, the GFA said that there were several “misleading and inaccurate conclusions” and it had instructed its lawyers to challenge the report’s findings in court.

The GFA did not say which specific parts of the report it disagreed with, but it appeared to be most upset with the description of Ismail Hamida, the national team’s kit manager, as a “ball boy.”

Hamida was one of several members of Ghana’s management team at the World Cup in Brazil to get $100,000 in “appearance fees”, according to the inquiry. Hamida, the players and coach Kwesi Appiah all received $100,000, as did the masseuse and video analyst.

“We wish to state that the commission’s description of the kit manager or equipment officer as a ‘ball boy’ is hideously inappropriate,” the GFA said.

The commission that drafted the report was seeking to “mock” the official, the GFA said.

Following the release of the report, Ghana president John Mahama ordered an audit to investigate how the GFA spent the $3.5m in World Cup preparation money.

Mahama’s instructions also said a $200,000 payment from the government to federation head Nyantakyi for a warm-up game ahead of the tournament should be further investigated “to clear any doubt of double funding and/or misappropriation of funds.”

Nyantakyi is a member of Fifa’s associations committee and sits on the Confederation of African Football’s top executive committee. He is also the president of the West African Football Union.

Fifa declined to comment on the inquiry, but it said Ghana’s football body had received its full amount of $8m in prize money from Fifa for the 2014 World Cup.

Ghana’s campaign at the tournament was chaotic, with players threatening to go on strike over unpaid bonuses. The government flew $3m in cash to Brazil to keep the players from walking off the job.

Quarter-finalists in 2010, Ghana were eliminated in the group stage in Brazil without winning a game.

Follow us on Twitter at NatSportUAE

Published: June 27, 2015 04:00 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one