Visa scandal for Ghana at Commonwealth Games in Australia

UnknownA huge problem for African sports is mismanagement. Stadiums are neglected. Bills go unpaid. In the end, athletes pay the price.

The latest example is the Ghanaian visa scandal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. Dozens of Ghanaians claiming to be journalists tried to enter the country but were stopped by border officials, who noticed these ‘journalists’ didn’t have laptops, audio recorders, notebooks; you know, stuff journalists use.

Even worse, there’s concern that Ghanaian officials may have helped them obtain the visas.

As a result, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo has suspended two high-ranking government officials in charge of sports management. In addition, he recalled from the Games several other officials, including the president of the Ghana Olympic Committee, to assist with Ghana’s criminal investigation of the matter.

The president’s action is a good start. Ghana is a rightfully proud country and the scandal is an international disgrace.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games comprises more than 6,600 athletes and team officials from 71 Commonwealth countries and territories. The closing ceremony is Sunday, April 15.

Ghana was still looking for its first medal. In 2014, Ghana won two bronze medals (judo, boxing) at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.


Hand of God? Match in Ghana postponed after church rents stadium

Football may be a religion, but it still takes a back seat to the real thing in Ghana.

Unknown-1A match scheduled for Wednesday (March 28) at Golden City Park in Berekum, Ghana, was postponed because the Church of Pentecost had already rented the facility. Turns out they’re holding a big Easter convention.

Berekum Chelsea FC was due to host the Elmina Sharks in a Ghana Premier League match. The Sharks had already driven eight hours by bus from Elmina north to Berekum.

Ghana Premier League officials have told local media that they don’t oversee the facilities. In other words, ‘don’t blame us.’

But this isn’t the first scheduling problem for the league, which last week changed dates for a match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Ashanti Gold. It was moved back one day to Saturday, March 24, which caused last-minute marketing problems.

Mark Noonan, the managing director of the Accra team, tweeted his displeasure: “With respect, I sincerely believe for club football in Ghana to progress we need to avoid these situations… we must do better for our dedicated players/supporters.”

The start of the season had already been delayed because of court disputes.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino recently said football in Nigeria is “more than” a religion.