Ibrahim Saanie Daara, Spokesperson, GFA

Ibrahim Saanie Daara, Spokesperson, GFA

Ghana Football Association (GFA) spokesman, Ibrahim Saanie Daara, has waded into the running debate about Ghana?s World Cup budget, saying ?the tournament is self-financing and the GFA would pay back the amount they receive with profit?.

Speaking at the awards night of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Faithfuls held in Accra last Saturday, he recalled the Black Stars? 2010 World Cup campaign ran on a similar budget for $19 million but the GFAspent only $9 million.

?In 2010 we spent only nine million out of $19 million and we received $11 million from FIFA, making a profit of two million. Such individuals [critics] would never call on government to inject this $2 million into football but rather they will put out false figures.

?The budget encompasses everything from the preparatory period to the final, and even if we make an exit the money comes back to the government. I want to assure all Ghanaians that the World Cup is self financing, and we would pay back the money that is approved for us after the tournament with profit?.

Even though the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the FA have been coy over the World Cup budget, reports of a proposed $20 million expenditure has dominated media discussions in recent days, following the revelation that the Black Stars players were demanding a whopping $10,000 each as appearance fee in addition to a winning bonus of $18,000.

The GFA?s Director of Communications also explained that the GFA did not directly handle World Cup spending.

?Government does not give the GFA any money; the money is given to a spending officer. At the tournament every expenditure is paid for by this officer who demands his receipt at every turn, so he will be able to account on his return to Ghana,? he said.

Mr Daara, who doubles as the Deputy General Secretary of the GFA, characterised this years? World Cup budget debate as ?full of misinformation and lies? designed to deceive the ordinary fan into despising GFA officials.

?Their arguments are designed to deceive and make you feel that the people you have put in positions of responsibility are corrupt. This week, part of the debate has been about USA spending two million dollars at the World Cup, Cote  d?Ivoire; five million, Algeria; five million and Nigeria; 12 million but they won?t tell you that Nigeria and many of such nations pay appearance fees after the World Cup, they won?t tell you because it is a calculated front? he stressed.

Mr Daara also described the proposed budget as confidential, saying the official figures would only be disclosed after negotiations between the GFA and government were done.

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