The Ministry of Youth and Sports says the country stands to benefit considerably from hosting the African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) but it cannot reveal exactly how much the process will cost or how much the country would make from the tournament.
The Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga said he cannot provide a specific figure because a technical committee to bid for the AFCON 2017 has not released any figures.
“As at now I don’t want to give you a specific figure because we have set up a technical committee which is responsible for giving us the analysis and the figures. If I mention any figure now and they come out with a figure that is different the I run into trouble.”
According to the Minister, the committee submitted the country’s formal bid to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Monday and are awaiting CAF’s decision on the bids which have qualified.
Mahama Ayariga, speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday, said that the country would benefit a greatly from hosting 2017 AFCON should the country win the bid to host the tournament.
He opined that the country has not benefitted enough from hosting the AFCON in 2008 despite investing massively in the tournament and hosting the AFCON in 2017 presented a good opportunity to take full advantage of the infrastructure built for the tournament.
“Ghana stands to benefit considerably when we win the right to host the tournament. We invested so much in the stadia to host the tournament in 2008 and the stadia haven’t deteriorated significantly. The kind of investment that we made in 2008, we have not benefitted enough from it,” he said
[contextly_sidebar id=”kA6sHEoyGdiRx8uAWhrSwxOqIznaPdcm”]The minister believes that the airport companies and hotels stand to make a lot of money from foreign players and fans travelling to the country for the tournament.
According to Mr. Ayariga, the millions invested building new stadia in Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale and renovating existing ones in Accra and Kumasi means that the country would not have to spend as much this time around.
“We spent millions of dollars in 2008 on the building and the renovation of the stadia for the tournament. These stadia exist, we don’t need new stadia, we only need to rehabilitate them and are minor renovations.
The minister also said that other possible areas of expenditure had already seen improvement over the years and would only require minor adjustments.
“We are not just talking about the stadiums, we are also talking about hotels, airports, telecommunications and our media. All these have been expanded since 2008. We are expanding tamale airport into an international airport and renovating the other airports as well, which will be done whether we are hosting a tournament or not.”
The country announced its intention to bid for the hosting rights for the 2017 AFCON after original host Libya gave up the rights because of security concern in the North African country.
The Sports Ministry appointed an 11-member committee to lead Ghana’s bid to host the tournament, including former national team player, Abedi Pele, Fred Crentsil – GFA Vice President, Randy Abbey and Herbert Mensah (Football Administrator and businessman).
Ghana is expected to face competition from several nations including Algeria who have also expressed an interest in hosting the competition.
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana