The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has criticized government’s decision to airlift $3 million cash to the Black Stars players.
Government airlifted $ 3 million cash to pay the appearance fee of the Black Stars players after the team threatened a boycott of Thursday’s match.
A press statement issued by the GBA noted that “government’s decision to bow to the pressure from the Black Stars players does not only break the law but also set a bad precedent for the citizenry”
“Government must be seen to be leading the line in playing by the rules set by law and institutions of state and not assist a group of people to break the law. This is utterly despicable!, “ it further stated.
Below is the full statement issued by the GBA
GBA STATEMENT ON THE EVENTS IN THE CAMP OF THE BLACK STARS AT THE FIFA WORLD CUP 2014 IN BRAZIL
The GBA notes with regret the off-field activities in the camp of the Black Stars, Ghana’s representatives at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
There is no doubt that football transcends all other activities in bringing the nation together and helps alleviate the numerous problems our people face in their daily lives. The fact that football impacts on social cohesion and national pride cannot be overemphasized.
The GBA read with concern from the local media, the internet, Bloomberg and other international news networks that the sum of US$3 million in cash had been physically airlifted from Accra to the players in Brazil since it cast a very negative picture of Ghana to the outside world.
GBA investigations revealed that there was an agreement with the players that their appearance fees and allowances would be paid into their bank accounts but midstream in the competition the players insisted on being paid physical cash with the threat that they would not continue to participate in the competition and thereby stampeded the authorities into physically transporting that colossal sum of money from Accra to Brazil.
Our investigations further revealed that this practice of carrying such huge sums in cash for footballers is not of recent origin. The country is reminded of a similar event which befell a former Minister of State, Mallam Issah.
At a time that the Bank of Ghana is making strenuous efforts to stabilize the cedi, it is totally imprudent that the football players could be allowed to ride roughshod over the whole country.
The GBA find it an affront to the Rule of Law and the principle of Equality before the Law that the Government on the spur of the moment found it prudent to disregard the law and legally binding directives and pander to the whims and caprices of the Senior National team, The Black Stars.
Such acts, the GBA notes, is not only a betrayal of the citizenry, especially business people who have painstakingly had to abide by the law and directives of the Bank of Ghana at the expense of their business interests, but also smacks of lawlessness and a bad example to the people of Ghana. The Black Stars players are not above the law and the GBA can find no justification for an exception to be made for them.
Ghana, unfortunately, has in the last 48 hours become the laughing stock of the global media because of government’s decision to mobilise and airlift Millions of United States Dollars in cash to Brazil. The GBA disagrees completely with Government’s decision to bow to pressure from the Black Stars players and in the process, not only break the law but also, set a bad precedent for the citizenry.
Government must be seen to be leading the line in playing by the rules set by law and institutions of state and not assist a group of people to break the law. This is utterly despicable!
Finally we have read in the international media gross acts of indiscipline which culminated in the expulsion of two players (Messrs Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng) from the Black Stars camp.
It is the GBA’s firm conviction that all persons representing the country in any capacity whatsoever should be aware of the fact that the country is bigger than any individual and that it is an honour and privilege to be called upon to serve the nation.
The GBA calls upon the leadership of the Ghana Football Association, the Ministry of Sports and Parliament to fashion out a strict code for the use of footballers and other sports personalities in any future event relating to discipline in camp and the payment of bonuses and allowances.
The GBA finally congratulates the officials who stamped their authority by expelling the two players and suggests that discipline must be the hallmark of our football teams and other teams and individuals engaged in sports and not merely the desire to win. This discipline must percolate to all facets of nation-building.
We would also wish to congratulate those players and officials who comported themselves and were great ambassadors for our nation Ghana.
Long live Ghana.
By: Marian Efe Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana