The NDC has dismissed claims by a cousin of the President Gabby Otchere-Darko that the party does not intend to fulfil its promise to the sports industry as stated in its ‘People’s Manifesto’.
National Communication Officer of the party Sammy Gyamfi said, the NDC has noticed how the Sports Associations, particularly the Football fraternity and Premier League Clubs have been hit with one problem after another.
“This is why, John Mahama, the Nation Builder, has among other things, committed himself to establish a Sports Development Fund to promote sports in Ghana when elected,” he said.
Under this policy, any Premier League Club in need of financial assistance can among other things, apply for funds to remunerate their players and save their careers, sustain livelihoods and protect such clubs from going down, he explained in a press statement.
Mr Gyamfi’s comments come after Mr Otchere-Darko said that the NDC does not mean to fulfil its promise to pay local footballers when voted into power especially because of the cost involved.
“A world first! Professional footballers to be added to government payroll in case John Mahama wins. I hope the mathematicians are adding up the costs to you the taxpayers. The truth is: you and I know they don’t mean it!,” he wrote on Facebook.
Sammy Gyamfi reacting to the post stated that the comments of Otchere Darko “who do appreciate the need for government to support our local sports clubs and associations” should be ignored and “treated with the contempt they deserve.”
He added that Mr Otchere Darko and others of his kind only believe such interventions should rather be channeled into deals that benefit a few.
“For the records, the legal fees paid to Gabby Otchere Darko and his cronies under the stinking “Agyapa deal” alone can pay for this policy over a period of four years,” he claimed.
Read full release below:
Football undoubtedly, is the passion of the nation, and a sport that has put and continues to put food on the tables of many of our country men and women.
Indeed, Ghana football evokes such deep sense of national pride and also generates economic opportunities for thousands of Ghanaians, that any government worth its sort must support the growth, development and welbeing of this most cherished sport.
The NDC recognizes the dire straits that our Sports Associations, particularly the Football fraternity and Premier Leeague Clubs have endured in the past two years, first as a result of the disruption that was caused by the #12 investigations, and currently due to the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ghana football which has been halted since early this year.
This is why, H.E John Dramani Mahama, the Nation Builder, has among other things, committed himself to establishing a Sports Development Fund to promote sports in Ghana when elected.
Page 86, paragraph 7.6.1 (f) of the Peoples’ Manifesto reads;
We will…..; “use the Sports Development Fund to assist the Sports Associations to provide and improve remuneration and welfare of local sportsmen and women.”
Under this policy, any Premier League Club in need of financial assistance can among other things, apply for funds to remunerate their players and save their careers, sustain livelihoods and protect such clubs from going down.
As it has been the case for every other policy proposal contained in the NDC’s Peoples’ Manifesto, we have done the analysis and we know how much this social intervention will cost the nation and how we intend to fund it when elected.
For instance with regards to the Ghana Premier League which has a total of 18 football clubs, with an average of 22 players each, should government support each team with remuneration of GHS1,500 per player, it will cost the nation an amount of GHS594,000 ((i.e. GHS33,000 × 18 clubs) every month.
In four (4) years, it will cost the nation a total amount of GHS28,512,000 (i.e 594,000 × 48 months), equivalent to US$4.8 million dollars.
Any club which benefits from this intervention will be required to pay a small percentage of the transfer & sign-on fees of any of their players who gets a foreign contract into the revolving Sports Development Fund.
This we believe will be prudent use of public funds to regenerate and boost an industry that feeds many and continues to be the breeding grounds for burgeoning talents who go on to lift the name of Ghana high on the global stage.
Did I hear the Nephew of President Akufo-Addo and Ghana’s De facto Prime Minister, Gabby Otchere Darko suggest that this laudable policy is not doable?
For the records, the legal fees paid to Gabby Otchere Darko and his cronies under the stinking “Agyapa deal” alone can pay for this policy over a period of four (4) years, not to talk of the unprecedented waste of public funds we are witnessing under the obese and corrupt Akufo Addo-government.
Governance is all about choices and priorities. Whereas, President Akufo Addo prioritizes profligacy, cronyism, wastage and corruption, President Mahama, the Nation Builder has chosen to channel state resources into productive initiatives such as sports development for the benefit of the country.
John Mahama is honest and can be trusted to deliver his promises. Naysayers and deliberate cynics like Gabby Otchere Darko who don’t appreciate the need for government to support our local sports clubs and associations because they believe such interventions should rather be channelled into crony family and friends deals to benefit a few, should be ignored and treated with the contempt they deserve.
Sammy Gyamfi Esq.
(National Communications Officer, NDC)