Kobby Stonne Writes: $8.5M AFCON 2023 Budget Mired in Corruption
Ghana’s budget for the African Cup of Nations 2023 (AFCON) has risen to an astonishing $8.5 million for 2023, sparking widespread outrage and allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption within the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association (GFA).
This budget, the largest in the country’s history for the tournament has aroused major concerns regarding the distribution of cash, particularly in light of the much smaller budgets of other competing nations.
The current funding allotment for Ghana’s participation in AFCON 2023 has drawn much attention and criticism.
Critics argue that the $8.5 million budget is unnecessarily costly, particularly when compared to the budgets of other African countries such as Namibia and Zambia, who have committed roughly $2.2 million and $2.1 million, respectively, for the event.
There are worries that a sizable percentage of this funding would be diverted into illegitimate payments, such as large incentives for officials and management committee members.
Exacerbating the situation, it has been reported that the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the African football governing body, covers hotel accommodations, feeding, domestic transportation, and other expenses for over 40 officials.
This has raised concerns about the need for such a large national budget.
The scandal also raises questions about Ghana’s AFCON 2023 funds, which have steadily increased between 2012 and 2023.
Despite earning larger prize money in consecutive games, the budget has continually exceeded the award amounts, prompting concerns about the fund’s transparency and accountability.
These revelations have brought the practices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the GFA under the microscope, with allegations suggesting a “Silent conspiracy theory” and a pattern of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds.
The situation is compared to Nigeria’s more modest budget of less than $2 million, highlighting the stark differences in financial management between the two nations.
I have been saying this on Asempa Sports Nite and Adom Sports page that, there can be only two justifications for the budgeted 8.5 million dollars for the AFCON 2023.
The first one is, anyone who tries to justify this, is either part of the loots or very ignorant of football especially about the AFCON 2023 or has benefited from this budget.
Until Okudzeto Ablakwa brought this out, some of us have been making enquiries for the budget but we were denied.
The reason been told is that, we were trying to disrupt the black stars campaign by asking for the budget before the tournament”.
The public’s demand for accountability is growing, as the need for reform in the sports sector becomes increasingly evident.
This has been Ghana’s budget and prize money for the African Cup of Nations from 2012 to 2023.