British High Commissioner is ignorant – GFA

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benjaminThe Ghana Football Association has hit back at the British High Commissioner Jon Benjamin for suggesting the Association and its president were misappropriating FIFA funds meant for development.

A statement issued by the Association said Benjamin’s comments were “at best stupendous ignorance or, at worst, sinister.”

The diplomat who has never shied away from controversy and local matters warmed himself into one when he alleged the FA had dissipated the FIFA funds on luxury SUV vehicles.

In an interview John Benjamin was reported to have said the FA President Kwasi Nyantakyi had even diverted parts of the FIFA funds  for development of local pitches into his private pockets.

His comments have angered the FA. In a gun-scatter reply to Benjamin the FA said the comments were ill-informed and “cack-handed.”

“Contrary to the claims of Mr Benjamin, FIFA funds are not assigned to Mr Nyantakyi for his personal use but paid directly to every federation annually for specific projects and pre-determined uses. The usage of the FIFA funds is audited by KPMG and Ghana has not defaulted on any use of FIFA funds.

“As a matter of fact, Ghana is among the few federations in the world to have reached FIFA Goal Project 5 and without financial prudence, the GFA could not have reached this milestone.

“Even though Mr Benjamin claims he has not seen any projects that FIFA funds have been used for by the GFA, we wish to point out that the two buildings in the federation’s headquarters – which is just a stone’s throw from the British High Commission in Accra – is one of the many projects funded through funds from FIFA.

As if the statement was not enough, the FA spokesperson Ibrahim Sannie Daara told Joy News the “gaffe-prone” ambassador is unbecoming of a diplomat.

“We are not surprised he would come out like this. You would quite remember three years ago he was almost thrown out of Chile because of comments he made about Argentina.

“In this country already he has ruffled a few feathers by attacking our own president or by implying to attack President John Mahama. He also attacked journalists in this country. So it is actually his stock in trade and we find it necessary that we must set the records straight and put him where he belongs,” he said.

The FA spokesperson said it is disingenious for Jon Benjamin to accuse the Ghana FA of not developing soccer pitches in the country when he knows too well that in UK not a single of those pitches were developed by the English FA but by government.

Sannie Daara said the FA will send a protest letter to the High Commissioner, Friday morning.

By: Nathan Gadugah

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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