Following the announcement of the budget for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, there seem to be more questions than answers. 

Sports Minister Isaac Kwame Asiamah, briefing Parliament on Wednesday, said the country budgeted $6.3million but spent $4.5million. Thus, an amount of $1.7million was not spent. The Black Stars played only four matches in Egypt as they exited the competition in the round of 16 

However, the Joy Sports desk – based on feedback from the general public and anecdotal information – reckon that the minister’s presentation was not exhaustive. As a result, the desk is putting through a series of follow-up queries about the nation’s financial position for the AFCON.

Of the many concerns from the general public, these ten (10) have been put forward:

AFCON Budget 2019

1. CAF caters to the needs of each team’s players and technical team during the tournament. How many technical team members did team Ghana present?

2. In 2017, the Black Stars were convinced to take a $5,000 winning bonus. Why couldn’t we do same this time?

3. CAF gave each participating nation $260K for preparation. Why was that amount not factored into the minister’s presentation?

4. Ghana won just a game but paid winning bonuses of over $965K for players. Does it mean each player got about $42K?

5. Ghana has a culture of paying the Black Stars appearance fees before tournaments. Did it happen again? If so, how much?

6. The minister’s presentation said the $6.3m budget covered NINE categories of people, but the actual breakdown mentioned expenses incurred for only the players and technical team. What happened to expenses for the other seven groups?

7. The entire sports ministry budget for 2019 is GHS 43m ($7.9m), but the AFCON budget alone was GHS 34m or $6.3m (representing 79% of the total amount). How does the state justify that expense when many other sports urgently need help?

8. Joy Sports understands that the AFCON expenditure was taken from outside the sports ministry’s budgetary allocation? What was the source of the money?

9. Budgets, by definition, are presented before expenses are made. Why did parliament not demand this be done by the sports ministry before the AFCON?

10. Who constitutes ‘additional technical staff’ in the minister’s budget, and why are their per diem/winning bonus payments separate from ‘technical staff’?

The Joy Sports team is of the view that the answers to these questions are critical to the future of Ghana’s participation in subsequent sporting tournaments – not just football.