The Sports Minister-designate, Isaac Asiamah took his turn before the Appointment Committee of Parliament today. The MP for Atwima-Mponua was quizzed on the plans he had for his new role ahead of a final approval by the Parliament of Ghana.
The Sports Ministry has over the years been characterized by a lot of controversy and the new man to head the place shared his thoughts on how he was going to run the place.
Here are four critical things he said;
I won’t deal directly with the GFA
A lot of the controversy at the Ministry over the years, has started with a ministers handling of issues involving the GFA. Mr. Asiamah appeared to have taken a cue from happenings in the past. When asked how he was going to saying he would not deal directly with the GFA. The Minister designate said rather, the Ghana Football Association will have to forward their programmes to the National Sports Authority for them to sanctioned before they are sent to him.
Banter between new and old Sports Ministers
The Minister designate told the committee that a $4.4 million budget had been prepared under the previous administration for Ghana’s participation at the African Cup of Nations in Gabon. He further stated that a negotiation between himself and the playing body saved the country a sum of about $1.5 million after the players had agreed to a 50% cut on their bonuses. His comments did not go down well with the immediate past Minister for Youth and Sports who accused him of lying under oath, saying the budget figure he mentioned as having been prepared by the previous administration was false. He further stated that the Ghana Football Association had prepared an initial budget which his Ministry reviewed, arriving at a final budget of $3.3 million.
Support for local football stars.
Mr. Asiamah expressed his displeasure at the current state of the Ghana Premier League. He mentioned that he will hold negotiations with the Ghana Football Associations to feature a quota of local players in the Black Stars, a solution he said will in the long run help in solve the current exodus of star players from the local league. He also said he would advocate for an equal representation of premier league teams from the all of the regions across the country.
Support for other disciplines and women in sports
Previous Sports Ministers have been accused of focusing solely football, much to the detriment of other sporting disciplines. The minister designate promised not to only focus on football as a minster but rather ensure that every sporting discipline is given adequate support to develop. He intimated that he was committed to the development of the other sporting disciplines, women as well as the physically challenged athletes in the country.
If approved, Isaac Asiamah will be the 17th Minister to head the Sports Ministry in 17 years.