SCORES OF soccer fans, flown to Brazil to supposedly support the Black Stars, are seething with rage over alleged poor accommodation that has been allocated to them.
Most of the fans, who according to the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Joseph Yamin, are supporters of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), have expressed disgust over the poor treatment being meted out to them, regarding their accommodation and other facilities.
The fans have not only condemned the poor accommodation at the Mardunas residence at Natal – which they claimed looked like an abandoned students’ hostel, but have also condemned how the organisers of the trip, headed by Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, have arranged them in their rooms.
Some of the rooms accommodate 10, 20 and 30 people who sleep together in the hot summer weather.
They said the poor accommodation package clearly shows that the Sports Minister and his lieutenants – who are currently living in plush hotels – do not respect them.
According to most of them, they had travelled several times to support the Black Stars but had not been poorly treated like this before.
They said during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the Ghana fans were housed in a nice place and so they were even expecting an improved package in Brazil since the budget approved for individuals now was far better than what was allocated to them in South Africa.
The government is spending an average of $6,000 on each soccer fan and about $20,000 on soccer ambassadors – made up of movie stars and ex-footballers.
So far, the budget for sponsoring the fans has not been made public by the Sports Ministry.
One of the frustrated soccer fans is Alhaji Yusif Gambo, chairman, Mahama for 2016 Movement in Kumasi – which is targeting one million votes for President Mahama in the Ashanti Region in 2016.
He lambasted the organisers, notably Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, for “a shoddy work done,” saying that he was very disappointed.
Alhaji Gambo, who is very powerful NDC figure in the region, said a huge amount of money was budgeted for the fans and so he was shocked by what he was witnessing.
He called on President John Mahama to intervene immediately before the situation got worse for the hundreds of soccer fans in Brazil.
Alhaji Gambo was of the view that what was budgeted was not what was being spent on the fans, adding that he suspected something fishy was going on.
Jake Azantilo, another NDC member, said he had regretted making the trip to Brazil to support the Black Stars.
He also lambasted the organisers for putting the fans in dilapidated rooms, noting that the fans could even fall sick.
Source: I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Natal, Brazil
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