The Chairman of the reconstituted International Games and Competitions Committee (IGCC), Alhaji Hafiz Adam has assured that visa scandals usually associated with international games will be averted this year as Ghana prepares to participate in the Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo.
Alhaji Adam, who doubles as the Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS), told the Times Sports in an interview that the IGCC would collaborate with the Japan Embassy in Accra to scrutinise names presented by federations as athletes and officials for the games.
The move, he explained, was to curb the recurrence of the scandals of visa racketeering often associated with international games, the last of which was tagged the ‘Australia visa scandal’ identified with the 2018 Commonwealth Games held in Australia.
The nation in 2018 was rocked by a visa scandal after about 50 Ghanaians were detained and deported by Australian officials during the Commonwealth Games on charges of visa racketeering.
As a result, top officials in the sports sector were suspended with some exonerated after investigation.
“The plans we have put in place is to ensure that we send the right athletes and officials for the Games because we want to avoid such scandals,” Alhaji Adam told the Times Sports.
He, therefore, called on federations to cooperate with the IGCC and present the right athletes and officials for the competition to avoid any form of scandal as happened in Australia.
“We would strategize, liaise with the Embassy to get genuine people to represent the country. Every name presented by federations would by duly scrutinised and federations will be held liable for any anomaly,” he stressed.
“We need to put Ghana first and assemble the right people to stop the visa issues surrounding sports,” he added.
He said a meeting would soon be held with federation heads to thoroughly discuss preparations and ways to win medals at the Games and present decisions at the meeting to the sector minister, Mustapha Ussif.
He said the apart for ensuring the right personnel was sent, the committee was also tasked with the provision of logistics and adequate security for the athletes and officials.
He said, the Olympics Games would be their first major assignment and called on all stakeholders to support and ensure a successful competition and make Ghana proud.
The sector minister, Mustapha Ussif recently sworn in members of the reconstituted IGCC headed by Alhaji Adam, to facilitate the participation of Ghana’s national teams in international competitions and games.
Other members of the committee are the Director General of the NSA, Prof Peter Twumasi, Mrs Worwornyo Agyeman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Mohammed Sahnoon of the Ghana Olympic Committee and Mr Peter Adjei of the Ghana Paralympic Committee.
The rest are Lieutenant Colonel Frank Kwesi Agyeman of the National Security Council, Mr Jeffery Manzan Owusu and Mr Salisu Omaru from the NSA, Mr Fiifi Abassah (State Protocol) and Emmanuel Oteng, an Accountant at the Sports Ministry.
BY MICHAEL D. ABAYATEYE
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