Black Stars in multi-million dollar camping in South Africa: Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS), Ghana Football Association (GFA) at it again — fans cry out but who will hear them? 

What has the GFA, under the present administration, since 2019, and the state actor, MOYS done differently or added to the Black Stars in terms of providing leadership? What extraordinary administration, and expenditure of state funds on Black Stars has both the MOYS and the GFA shown in the last four years?

Has there been any improvement in how Black Stars have been administered? You will struggle to find anything convincing. From coaching inconsistencies to corrupt manipulation and interference in player selection to the unconscionable use of taxpayers' money, both the MOYS and the GFA continue to insult our intelligence. 

The MOYS, which should protect the public purse and national interest, is complicit in the “sins” the Black Stars are used to commit against the taxpayer. It is unacceptable, to say the least. Probes after the disgrace (in Brazil 2014 and AFCON 2021 for example), have not yielded desired changes because those who wielded the authority to ensure positive changes are experts in “too much talk little or no action”.

On Black Stars, government white paper is treated with utter contempt by those who must work with it. So, who will care about what a Parliamentary select committee on sports and culture says? Who will question the GFA on sending the team to South Africa for camping when we are playing the AFCON in Ivory Coast in three weeks?

What is the motivation for this camp when countries in that region are leaving their colder climates to the warmer West Africa to train ahead of the competition being played in West Africa? Ghana football lacks leadership. In 2021, similar concerns were raised when the Black Stars camped in Qatar ahead of the Cameroon AFCON.

The taxpayer ended up coughing out over $2million for the team’s stay in Qatar and later Cameroon. It was more like a luxurious trip. The result was an unprecedented disaster as the team authored their worst AFCON performance in history. Two years on, the MOYS and the GFA are back on another comfort-ride with the team amidst public agitation that the trip must be canceled.

As a nationalist, I wish the team well. However, as a journalist who have closely watched this team and chronicled poor decision-making by its managers, it is hard to accept this fun-laced South African camp that seems planned by people who never expected to have this amount of power in their hands.

Even if it is at the request of the coach, he collaborates with an authority. That authority must not endorse anything the coach put across without scrutiny and without attention to public concern. This is a matter the government should look at and guide the GFA to an alternative idea that will save the taxpayer and more so, bring out the best from the team at the tournament next month.