U17 WC: Gov’t to sponsor fans to India
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has said it is ready to finance football fans to cheer the Black Starlets in India next month when the FIFA U 17 tournament kicks off.
This has been met with a lot of scepticism as some critics say it is a total U-turn to the recommendations in the Justice Senyo Dzamefe-led Commission report.
After the Black Stars’ humiliating performance in the Brazil 2014 World Cup, the Dzamefe Commission of Inquiry was tasked by then President, John Dramani Mahama, to investigate matters surrounding the Stars’ crush. The Commission, led by Justice Senyo Dzamefe, exposed serious lapses in the handling of the activities of the Black Stars. High on the list of recommendations was a halt to the continuous flying of supporters to sports events on the budget of the state.
However, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, said government is considering airlifting supporters to the forthcoming FIFA U17 World Cup in India.
“If there should be any organisation for supporters which may happen this time round for them to go and cheer them up in India, we will ask them to come together under one elephant. Yes they should come together. When you come together then we will have the courage to support but not these splinter groups. We want them to be under one body, united Ghana supporters, where they are supporting one team and so far they are almost there. The discussions are on-going. We want them to come under one body so they are making progress. If they are able to achieve that one, then government will be courageous enough to spend our own money to support them,” he stated.
He added that the poor organisation of the supporters that characterised the senior national team’s outing in Brazil will not be repeated under his tenure in office.
“The Brazilian fiasco, when the indiscipline in Brazil came, I read the statement in a press conference on behalf of the then Minority. It was about organisation of the supporters. It was a total disorganisation. There wasn’t any properly planned programme so supporters were stranded. Some were watching the matches on the streets. We all saw what happened in Brazil, some didn’t even have tickets. In organising supporters there should be decency, they are Ghanaians, they should have some comfort,” he said.