Afriyie-Ankrah breaks down in tears at World Cup Commission hearing

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Photo credit: Myjoyonline

The Commission of enquiry set up to investigate the Black Stars' poor performance at the 2014 World Cup saw an emotional hearing Thursday when ex-Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah broke down in tears.
The immediate past Youth and Sports Minister led the delegation to the tournament organized in Brazil from June 12 to July 13.
Poor management decisions and player indiscipline resulted in the team exiting the tournament in the first round, recording only a point out of a possible nine.
Appearing before the Commission for the second day, Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah had answered several questions relating to why the Ministry opted to airlift $3million to Brazil to pay appearance fees to the players.
The players had refused to train for two days before the team’s final group game against Portugal resulting in their 1-2 loss.
Asked by Chairman of the Commission, Justice Senyo Dzamefe how he felt when the team failed to train for two days before the final group game, Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah’s response was choked with emotions followed by tears streaming down his face.
“My Lord, I felt devastated because...,” then he choked with tears. He reached out for his handkerchief from his pocket to wipe the tears.
Justice Dazemefe then gave him two-minutes break to enable him put himself together to continue with his accounts.
"Honorable relax, honorable relax; we are helping Mother Ghana," the Chairman consoled the witness who has now been reassigned to the Presidency as a Minister of State.
Earlier, the ex-Minister told the Commission he was under excessive pressure to agree to the demands of the playing body for their appearance fees to be paid in cash, instead of doing so electronically.
Government had indicated it could pay $82,500 appearance fees to each player against the demand of $100,000 by the players.
“I was kowtowed, just as the same was done to the state, to pay the $100, 000,” he said.
He however, denied claims that funds were not available at the time the tournament was ongoing. According to him, the issue had to do with how to get the money to the players since it was difficult doing so electronically which would have cost the state 17% transaction tax.
“There was no budgetary allocation to cater for the 17% tax on the transaction [charge in Brazil],” he said.
He added: “It was not about the availability of the money but how to get it to them…The moment the issue of the mode of payment came up the first person I spoke to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana.”
Asked if he knew whether the country was prepared to foot extra bills if the team had progressed beyond the group stages, Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah responded: “My Lord, I have no answer”.

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