Sports Minister confirms budgeting $8.5m for 2023 Africa Cup of Nations

Youth and Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif has revealed that an amount of $8.5 million was budgeted for the just-ended 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, February 14, Mr Ussif said out of the budgeted estimate, $5m was released by the Finance Ministry for the first phase of the competition.

He added that the $5m released was meant to cater for “… per diems, flight arrangements for the team, medicals, equipment, logistics and hospitality,” and the remaining $2m was not used by his office.

“Mr Speaker, our estimated budget for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament was $8,506,450.00 to cater for the team’s pre-tournament and the Tournament Phases (group stages, 1/16 stage, quarter-final, semi-final and final),” he said.

“Out of the $8,506,450.00, $5,071,840.36 was released by the Ministry of Finance of which US$3,070,067.81 was spent on per diems, flight arrangements for the team, medicals, equipment, logistics and hospitality.

“This resulted in a surplus of $2,001,772.55, after our exit from the tournament,” he explained.

He also dismissed reports suggesting that each Black Stars player was paid $30,000 before the final Group B game against Mozambique to motivate them in the crucial match.

“Mr Speaker, the Ministry had negotiated to pay bonuses should the team progress to the next round of the tournament, therefore, no qualification bonuses were paid due to the team’s exit at the group stage.

“Mr Speaker, this measure adopted by the Ministry, was aimed at motivating the team to go all out and progress from one stage of the competition to the other, and also ensure prudent management of resources,” he stated.

Ghana after three games played finished 3rd in Group B with just two points which led to their elimination for the second consecutive time.

The poor performance of the team has led to the sacking of Chris Hughton and his technical team members.

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