Ghana’s boxers miss Games, languish in jailOctober 5th, 2010 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS
By Francis Kokutse
Accra (Ghana) Oct 5 (IANS) Just a day after the spectacular opening of the 19th Commonwealth Games in Delhi, officials in the west African country have confirmed that about 72 boxers - among whom are some of the best who would have represented the country at the Games - are languishing in jail for robbery and theft.
Ghana Boxers Association director of communications Mohammed Amin said “we are aware that such a huge number of our members are in jail because we have not been able to properly cater for them.”
Amin said, “Some of these people do have any means of income and have fallen into trouble because after they have trained and realized they have no means of income, took to robbery.”
“It surprising that a country like Ghana that has produced not less than 10 world champions has no boxing arena. Even areas that have been earmarked for the building of recreational facilities to cater for our your boxers have been encroached upon by individuals,” Amin told IANS.
Ghana’s delegation to the games itself had faced a few problems. Two groups claimed to be members of the National Olympic Committee, making it difficult for the country to obtain accreditation for the national athletes.
Youth and Sports Minister Akua Dansua told IANS, “We had to negotiate with the two groups to see reason to be able to work out the accreditation for the national team.”
Last year, there was an attempt to unseat the existing National Olympic Committee (NOC) led by B.T. Baba by a group that organized a hastily held congress. The issue was then referred to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that refused to recognize the new group and this caused a lot of headache for the government in its attempt to seek accreditation for the national team to represent Ghana at the Commonwealth Games.
Baba refused to comment when contacted. This is because the Serious Fraud Office is currently investigating the NOC’s accounts.
Local media reports on the games have been scanty. State-owned Daily Graphic carried a BBC report that said the opening ceremony was amidst a large security presence whilst independently owned Daily Guide described the opening ceremony as “spectacular.”
(Francis Kokutse can be contacted at email@example.com)
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Tags: accra ghana, accreditation, akua, amin, association director, baba, boxers, boxing arena, commonwealth games, delegation, headache, international olympic committee, ioc, local media, mohammed, national olympic committee, oct 5, robbery, serious fraud office, world champions