Journalist Jerome Otchere has stirred up a heated debate following revelations about an alleged payment of $20,000 to a personal assistant working for Otto Addo, Ghana's coach during the 2022 World Cup.
Otchere has shed light on intriguing details surrounding the matter, raising questions about the implications and calling into question the management of funds.
In an interview on Friday morning, Otchere, the former Asante Kotoko Express Editor, expressed concerns about the allocation of Ghana's pre-tournament and tournament budget, stating that it was spent in a manner that he finds unconscionable.
He specifically mentioned the personal assistant to Ghana's coach at the World Cup and the substantial amount of $20,000 involved.
During a discussion on Accra-based Peace FM, Otchere acknowledged that he does not object to a coach having a personal assistant but emphasised that the allocated amount of money is excessive.
"From what I have seen it is official figures on the budget statement the budget that the FA did for the World Cup Qatar 2022. The documents I have seen certified by the FA itself say that in fact allocations were made. Let me explain so that it will not be like we are taking somebody on so since the World Cup time all the money involved and how things went I have been asking questions," he said.
"And all I am asking is that how come our Black Stars that we love and follow the team when it comes to going to a tournament and money issues come up we don’t want to say it so that the public will hear. We don’t want to release the money issues so that people will see what it entails. And I think that these are some of the things that make some people not follow the team unless there is a problem. And if we don’t change that attitude of whenever there is a money problem around the Black Stars it makes some people think that if you make it public there will be chaos,"
"If you hide it we will look for it and find it so that is what led me to go and ask those in charge personally I wrote to the ministry through the RTI office that I want to know Black Stars world cup budget and expenditure with the breakdown. So they gave me some documents in February and March in fact they have been very cooperative in giving the information. So when I get it then I cross-check whether it is genuine so I recently got (another document) the ones that I was posting on Twitter I am not saying these are the actuals.
"I have seen the actuals and with time I will put the actuals out but when I compared it to the budget statement I am not saying someone has chopped some money but I am asking the FA people that the Ghana football when you take the Ghana Premier League the team that will win whether it is Kotoko, Aduana, Hearts we will give the team $30,000 for 34 rounds of matches crisscrossing the country."
"Then Black Stars qualify for a world cup and FIFA gives us approximately $9 million FIFA gives us $1.5 million for preparation and we are doing a budget on how we will spend the money during the world cup and we don’t remember that the base of our football which is domestic football we have to pump some of the money into it. But we go and share the money as if after sharing there is no tomorrow that is what worries me."
"That is why when I was going through it who was the personal assistant to the coach who when it comes to budgetary allocation he alone I am not saying they gave it to him but the documents say that it is in the budget he alone $20,000 and I think it is too much. I don’t have a problem with the coach having a personal assistant my problem is the budgetary allocation for the world cup document that shows that he alone allocated $20,000 to him/her."
"In my view in terms of our local football, it is too much. If you look at all four world cups we have gone with the little money we got what have we done with it? In conservative figures we have earned $35 million what can we point to that we can say this is from the world cup."