June 20, 2024
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2022 World Cup: GFA declares $7.9m prize money instead of $9m

Ghana was paid $7.9m as its share of the 2022 FIFA World Cup prize money instead of the widely publicised $9m, JoySports understands.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) per JoySports sources told its membership it received $7.9m from FIFA after the Black Stars participation in the World Cup in Qatar, and communicated same to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and, by extension, government.

Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif, in November 2022, had told Parliament the country would receive $9m from FIFA for participating in the group stages of the tournament.

However, the West African country got about $1.1 m less than anticipated and reported by the Minister.

Government through a letter from the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Opare has given the GFA about $2.5m out of the money to build a Qatar Legacy Project at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence in Prampram under the auspices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Sports Authority.

The remaining $5.4m has been kept by the state as cost incurred during the senior national team’s qualification to the tournament.

The Controller and Accountant General, per sources gave an account to the Sports Ministry, and asked that the $5.4m be paid into that account.

JoySports understands, the explanation offered by the FA is that part of the money was used to pay for yellow cards acquisition at the tournament.

In July 2023, Communications Director of the FA, Henry Asante Twum was quoted by Angel TV to have said that, “We (Ghana FA) paid $80,000 for yellow cards acquisition at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.”

Ghana received eight (8) yellow cards, which means, $10,000 per yellow card.

JoySports cross-checked with some of the 32 countries that participated in the World Cup in Qatar, but neither of them confirmed such payment was made to FIFA.

The English FA suggested that JoySports should contact the Disciplinary Department of FIFA.

The FIFA Disciplinary Department has not responded to our queries yet.

A review of the 2022 FIFA World Cup competition regulations sanctions for yellow cards were just on suspension if a player received two yellow cards or accumulation of yellow cards would lead to a player missing the next match.

The 2022/23 FIFA Disciplinary Committeee Report released in July 2023 disclosed that there were “103 match-related issues and the majority of which were related to FIFA tournaments. 

“Amongst the match-related cases, the misconduct of players and officials [constitutes] 65.5%.”

The report went on to state that “fines are the most common form of sanction imposed on infringing parties by the Disciplinary Committee and the total value of such fines in 2022/2023 amounted to CHF 3.0 million ($3.5m).”

There were 332 fines imposed in 2022/23, but the report did not indicate if the fines included yellow cards players received at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last year.

People with knowledge of FIFA World Cup prize money payments said deductions of such penalties are always paid from source, though no history of such payments could be recalled in 2006, 2010, and 2014.

It is, therefore, unclear if the yellow card acquisition payment was deducted from source or the GFA paid while in Qatar.

As of the time of filing this report, FIFA was yet to respond to JoySports questions on this.

The world football governing body, however, revealed that Ghana and 16 other countries, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, IR Iran, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Tunisia, Uruguay and Wales received $9m each.

FIFA in its email to JoySports, attached its 2022 annual financial report published early this year, and its content also revealed that 17 countries, including Ghana, received $9m each for exiting the competition at the group stage.

The world football body would, however, not detail the specific amount paid to the GFA as Ghana’s share of the Mundial cake, when JoySports sought to understand why the West African country received about a $1m less, directing JoySports to contact the Ghana FA for clarity.

Muftawu Nabila Abdulai, on behalf of JoySports, wrote to the GFA upon FIFA’s advice, but the football association is yet to respond to his email.

But, if indeed Ghana paid $80,000 for yellow card acquisition and it was deducted from prize money, the country would be left with a little over $8.92m contrary to the $7.9m the FA is said to have received from FIFA.

Possible reasons Ghana would have received about $1.02m less could be due to extra costs in accommodation, feeding, and internal transportation for people who attended the World Cup and unsold match tickets.

It is unclear how much the GFA spent in Qatar to merit such a huge deduction from the country’s prize money if the amount declared to clubs and government is anything to go by.

Meanwhile, Ghana received $4.8m of its FIFA Foreword 2.0 money from FIFA between 2019 and 2022, representing 71% of the total money due the country per FIFA documents sent to JoySports.

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