Sports Minister Nii Lantey Vanderpuije has served notice he would not allow anyone at Ghana’s Football Association to hound him out of office due to his zeal to shake up the system.
He said he loves football and wants to see Ghana’s football develop, especially the managerial aspect, hence will do what is necessary to see that agenda through.
“I have told myself, I will not allow anyone to hound me out,” he told host of Hot Issues on TV3 Saturday when he took the hot seat to talk about sports development in the country.
He argued his appointment February this year by President John Mahama was based on the confidence the President had in him to deliver for which reason he will not relent.
Mr Vanderpuije said he has no problem whatsoever with anybody at the FA, noting his only issue has to do with the way football is being managed in the country.
“Personally, as Nii Lantey Vanderpuije I don’t have a problem with anybody at the GFA because at the end of the day I don’t care who is the FA president. What is of interest to me is Ghana football,” he said.
He contends that the FA cannot continue to use the same approach to the management of football and expect to achieve results when the trend and dynamics have changed.
The minister said his push for change in the management of the country’s football should not bring about any hatred or animosity between him and the Football Association.
“If you led a certain path and today, trends have changed, the dynamics of the situation demands that we should relook at the way we have done things in the past, I don’t think it should call for hatred [or] it should call for animosity. We should sit down and talk,” he said.
According to him, since his assuming office, there have been “things that I’ve seen, things that I’ve heard, explanations that I’ve received to certain things that I think that as a country, we’ve been very lucky”
‘Cow dung’ circus at GFA
He said the FA has been lucky that people have not wondered too much about ‘those things’ to find out what is hidden.
Mr Vanderpuije observed the Football Association has lived a circus he termed as ‘cow dung’ where “the surface is dry but beneath is all maggots. So I believe that we should change the way we do things.
FA ‘surrogates’ can’t hound me
“I have a problem with the way some of the things are done. I have problems with some of the surrogates of the management of the Black Stars who think that they could be the voice of their masters and go on the offensive and attack ministers, hound the ministers out of office.
He said he would continue to do what he believe is right for Ghana football and “if for that one or two people think that I’m not good enough” they should complain to President Mahama.
He said although there are challenges, “we are on the right path” to achieving the required results for football.
“If tomorrow something unfortunately happens, it wont be because of me, it will be because people don’t want the right thing to be done,” he said.
Winning bonuses ‘nonsensical’
Touching on the Black Stars, he said Ghana cannot continue to be paying wining bonuses to the players and the management team.
“The difficulty that I’ve had is how to sustain, for example, issue of winning bonuses. It is just not sustainable as a country; it doesn’t make sense- bonuses to players, bonuses to officials,” he argued.
For him, anyone who doesn’t think so should come forward with a convincing argument as to why winning bonuses should be paid to Black Stars players and its management team.
He said his argument stems from the fact that the management members receive per diem, given tickets to all matches, as well as hotel accommodation “all at the expense of the State”.
Mr Vanderpuije revealed Ghana spends a whopping one million dollars on the Black Stars for each match; something he said cannot continue when critical sectors of the economy need to be improved.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah