US$8m AFCON 2023 budget exposé – Presidential staffer attacks ‘drama king’ Ablakwa
Presidential staffer, Dennis Miracles Aboagye has hit back at the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Oblakwa accusing the MP of exaggeration and overpoliticization of national matters.
Mr Ablakwa on Monday, January 29, 2023, shared details revealing that the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association, budgeted $8.5 million for Ghana’s participation in the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.
But reacting to the MP’s revelation, Miracles Aboagye accused Mr Ablakwa of ignoring the bigger issue of the consistent failures of the Black Stars and exaggerating the issue of the team’s budget when previous governments spent as much on the team with less returns.
“Anytime we have to deal with a national issue nooor then he will come and spoil it with the Drama , exaggerations and partisanship.
“Was he not in there when his Government transported $3Million Dollars in Cash in an aeroplane to Black Stars Players in Brazil.
“Was it not in 2014 that Black Stars players were kissing Hard dollar currency in Brazil? We are all trying to work together to deal with a national issue, let him not distract the conversation with his unnecessary finger pointing,” he wrote.
The presidential staffer went on to point out that the government of Ghana under an erstwhile National Democratic Congress government in 2013, approved a budget of $15 million for Ghana’s participation in the AFCON at a time when the country was facing serious power crisis.
“In 2013 when his government approved $15million Dollars for AFCON, we had Dumsor and all we needed was money to buy fuel. At the 2013 AFCON, the prize money was $1.5Million Dollars.
“He should leave us to deal with our football issues without splitting our heads. Check the trend of Expenses over the party 5 AFCONS,” he stated referring to an artwork accompanying his post.
GhanaWeb checks show that the 2013 expense of pegged at US$15m is at best speculative. Our sources indicate that only US$8m was budgeted and subsequently disbursed.
Ghana’s participation in the 2023 AFCON was abysmal, with the country exiting the ongoing tournament from the group stage with just two points.
Amidst the controversy about the team’s coach, Mr Ablakwa on Monday made the revelation about the team’s expenditure while accusing the government, FA and sports ministry of corruption and financial mismanagement.
The ministry of youth and sports ahead of the tournament had failed to disclose the budget allocation for the Black Stars participation in the AFCON.