AFCON 2023: Documents allege Ghana spent ₦9 billion on group stage exit


A document believed to have originated from Ghana’s sports ministry alleges that the Ghanaian FA spent close to $9 billion on the ill-fated AFCON 2023 tournament

In a follow-up to last week’s revelation about the Black Stars’ expenses, new details have emerged regarding their budget for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Côte d’Ivoire. 

Despite efforts to keep this information under wraps by the government and the Ghana Football Association (GFA), new findings have been made public.

 Financial details for the Black Stars

The Ghanaian government and GFA have been secretive about the financial details for the Black Stars’ participation in the ongoing 2024 AFCON. Despite pressures from Parliament and sports journalists in Ghana, the Youth and Sports Minister and FA officials have not disclosed these details, which are considered essential for public knowledge.

The lack of openness regarding the AFCON budget for the Black Stars, especially after Ghana’s poor performance in the tournament, has raised concerns. There’s an analogy made to the budget being as secretive as nuclear codes, highlighting the extreme lengths taken to hide this information.

Disclosure of the AFCON Budget

According to a post shared by Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa on X, the documents have revealed that the Ghanaian government and GFA agreed on an AFCON budget of a staggering US$8.5 million (approximately ₦9 billion). 

This budget is separate from millions already spent on the qualifiers. The details were found in a letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, requesting part payment of the budget.

Questions have been raised about the rationale behind such a large budget for a country facing financial challenges, including loan defaults and seeking an IMF bailout. The budget is notably higher than the prize money for the AFCON winner, which is US$7 million, indicating a guaranteed financial loss for Ghana even if they had won.

The budget is contrasted with lower budgets of other countries like Zambia, which allocated only US$2.1 million for the same tournament. The high budget for Ghana, a country undergoing debt restructuring, has been criticized, especially as it did not translate into on-field success.

Parliamentary Probe and Ongoing Investigations

Further, there is an expectation of more disclosures as additional documents are anticipated to be released soon. These documents, which are likely to provide more insight into the budgetary process and decision-making, are expected to add significant details to the ongoing investigation. 

The public and concerned stakeholders are keenly awaiting these revelations to better understand the financial management of Ghana’s participation in the AFCON tournament.

Role of SOA oversight

SOA Oversight, a key player in bringing these issues to light, has promised to continue its efforts in uncovering and sharing information regarding the budget. Their role has been crucial in ensuring transparency and accountability in this matter, and their upcoming disclosures are highly anticipated by those following this issue closely.

This investigation is not just about the AFCON budget but also highlights broader issues of governance and sports administration in Ghana. The outcome of the parliamentary probe and subsequent revelations could have significant implications for how sports budgets are formulated, approved, and disclosed in the future, promoting a more transparent and accountable system.

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