On December 11, 2021, the new board of the National Sports Authority (NSA), headed by a chairman, Seth Panwum had a retreat at Aqua Safari. It was a meeting to review the year, and one to talk about how to improve the activities of the authority to generate revenue.
It was a meeting to create a new identity and change a supposed negative image of the authority. Unbeknownst to them, before their very eyes, negativity was staring at them.
Having gone through the various discussions scheduled at the retreat, the board took an opportunity to inquire from Director-General, Professor Peter Twumasi on a letter sent to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) on November 24, 2021, to postpone matches scheduled at the Accra sports stadium from December 13 to December 26 for maintenance.
In his response to the board, he stated that the NSA and the league clubs using the Accra stadium as their home venue were told the facility will be closed down for maintenance in the course of the season, so the clubs should have an alternative venue for their games, sources said.
The board questioned why a letter to the football governing body stated the facility will undergo maintenance, but it later emerged that it has been rented out for a GTCO event between December 17 and 26.
Sources told JoySports that Professor Twumasi denied there was a binding contract between the NSA and GTCO, and that most musicians often use their facilities without their consent, and cited the example of StoneBwoy using the Baba Yara Stadium years ago to the dismay of the board.
JoySports checks, however, revealed that GTCO started engaging the NSA to use the facility about two months ago. Papa Asante, Chairman of Revenue Task Force of the NSA was the contact person of GT Bank when the discussions began, but the authority was reluctant to release it, stating that the event organisers needed approval from the government COVID-19 task force.
When JoySports contacted Papa Asante he admitted he advised GT Bank about the procedure to go through in order to secure the venue.
He revealed that GT Bank was asked to get clearance from the government COVID Task Force and the Ghana Police Service. According to him, it was upon conclusion of these that the legal department of the NSA prepared a contract which was signed by the Director-General and witnessed by the Estate Manager.
He, however, could not divulge information on the finances involved and suggested JoySports speaks to Professor Twumasi himself.
Attempts to reach Prof Twumasi proved futile. He neither answered his phone, not replied to questions sent to him despite reading them on WhatsApp.
The claims of Papa Asante is contradicted by board members, who claim Professor Twumasi said there was no binding contract between the NSA and GT Bank.
When a question was posed to some members how much is involved following the discussion with Mr Asante, one said “how are we supposed to know how much they are paying for the stadium when we were told there is no agreement between the NSA and GT Bank?”
He claimed that the board paid a call on Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif, on Monday, and it was upon their return from the meeting that they noticed GT Bank was setting up at the stadium for the event.
The board has since questioned Professor Twumasi on their WhatsApp group, but he gave no response on the platform, sources claim.
Though no specific amount is known, they claim they have an idea about how much the facility is rented for concerts.
One said it’s GHS 60,000 without the pitch, GHS 110,000 with the pitch, and a deposit of GHC 20,000 before the facility is released. In effect, the range for renting the stadium is between GHS 130,000 to GHS 150,000 and will demand details of the agreement with GT Bank.
JoySports can confirm GT Bank paid about GHC 100,000 for the facility.
Some members of the board claim, a meeting will be convened with management to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
We understand the Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif is unaware of the musical concert as his office was told the event was meant for the staff of the GT Bank and does not include the use of the pitch.
JoySports discovered that former Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, directed the NSA to procure pitch protectors to cover the grasses whenever the facility is rented out for musical concerts. The protectors have not been procured but the facility has been rented out for two weeks.
When JoySports contacted the spokesman of the NSA, Charles Amofa, he said “we have a responsibility to protect the properties of the state and will not do anything to destroy the pitch.”
He added that “the set up you saw on social media was the plan from those who designed the concert, but it has been moved to the other side of the post where the ground is a concrete slab.”
Amofa went on: “If you come to the stadium now, you’ll see that the event is not on the pitch, but outside the pitch.”
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