Government did not include sports in its one billion cedis stimulus package for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), Deputy Sports Minister, Perry Okudzeto has revealed.
“The stimulus package we know is for small scale and medium scale businesses, SMEs. Football or sports is not included in the package as we speak but discussions are on going,” he said on JoyNews’ Beyond the Lockdown show.
This revelation is a blow to the Ghana Football Association (GFA), one of the major sporting institutions to have applied for support from the central government due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There’s been calls for government to extend financial support to sports, especially football. Sporting activities have been suspended since the President’s directive to cease all social activities that require large crowds as part of measures to control the spread of Covid-19.
The lack of activities has had an adverse effect on the sector generally, with football seemingly the hardest hit because of the number of people it employs directly and indirectly.
The GFA in their request to government indicated that their members fall under SMEs. CEO of Inter Allies, Delali Senaye noted in an interview with Joy Sports last month that football clubs are SMEs and should be supported by government.
His claims were echoed by CEO of Data Bank, Kojo Addae-Mensah who said sports contributes five percent in revenue to the Ghanaian economy.
However, in a response to the question from a viewer on the show, Mr Okudzeto said “We have received proposals from various federations on the state and the sort of their federations and the sort of help they may require going forward.
“We are considering the proposals and at the appropriate time when a decision is taken on what support will go to particular federations those announcements will be made,” he added.