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 Starsâ€™ participation at the World Cup in Brazil â€“ 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 â€“ 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.
â€œLet me put on record that we never presented a budget of $20m,â€ he told Radio Gold.
â€œAbsolutely not. We never presented such a budget.
â€œI am telling you on authority that such a budget was never presented but then people were speaking as if they had some authority.â€
Monetary issues have dominated Ghanaâ€™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 teamâ€™s core preparations towards the tournament could wreck Ghanaâ€™s campaign in Brazil.
The approved figure from government is however the least â€“ in terms of magnitude â€“ approved for a World Cup campaign since Ghanaâ€™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.