By Ameenu Shardow
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Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah insists a budget of $20m for the 2014 World Cup was never presented for approval.
The state has approved $9.8m for the Black Stars’ participation at the World Cup in Brazil – much less than the reported $20m purported to have been presented by a joint team from the Sports Ministry and the Ghana FA.
There are reports several aspects of the alleged $20m budget prepared were struck out by cabinet – beating the figure significantly down to the eventual approved figure of a little over $9.8m.
But Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah is adamant the reported $20m budget purported to have been presented to the cabinet to which he and officials of the Ghana FA were unable to defend is simply false.
“Let me put on record that we never presented a budget of $20m,” he told Radio Gold.
“Absolutely not. We never presented such a budget.
“I am telling you on authority that such a budget was never presented but then people were speaking as if they had some authority.”
Monetary issues have dominated Ghana’s build up to a third successive appearance at the World Cup finals in Brazil for the past weeks.
Some fear the apparent lack of focus on the team’s core preparations towards the tournament could wreck Ghana’s campaign in Brazil.
The approved figure from government is however the least – in terms of magnitude – approved for a World Cup campaign since Ghana’s maiden appearance in 2006.
The Ghana FA had a reported budget of $16m approved for its maiden participation in the World Cup in Germany 2006.
This amount was upped to about $19m for the last World Cup in South Africa four years ago.