- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

ACCRA, Ghana (AP) - The Ghana Football Association will challenge some of the findings of an inquiry which questioned how over $3.5 million meant for the team’s preparations for last year’s World Cup was used.

The GFA also said Saturday it was offended by the inquiry’s description of an equipment manager who received a $100,000 appearance fee for the World Cup in Brazil as a “ball boy.”

A report released this month said the GFA must explain how it spent $1.5 million from FIFA and another $2 million from the state-run Ghana National Petroleum Corporation.

Also, GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi, a senior African soccer executive, should account for $200,000 given to him by the government to organize a friendly match ahead of the World Cup, the inquiry’s report said.

In response, the GFA said that there were several “misleading and inaccurate conclusions” and it had instructed its lawyers to challenge the report’s findings in court.

The GFA did not say which specific parts of the report it disagreed with, but appeared to be most upset with the description of Ismail Hamida, the national team’s kit manager, as a “ball boy.”

Hamida was one of a number of members of Ghana’s management team at the World Cup in Brazil to get $100,000 in “appearance fees,” according to the inquiry. Hamida, the players and head coach Kwesi Appiah all received $100,000, as did the masseuse and video analyst.

“We wish to state that the commission’s description of the kit manager or equipment officer as a ‘ball boy’ is hideously inappropriate,” the GFA said.

The commission that drafted the report was seeking to “mock” the official, the GFA said.

Following the release of the report, Ghana President John Mahama ordered an audit to investigate how the GFA spent the $3.5 million in World Cup preparation money.

Mahama’s instructions also said a $200,000-payment from the government to federation head Nyantakyi for a warm-up game ahead of the tournament should be further investigated “to clear any doubt of double funding and/or misappropriation of funds.”

Nyantakyi is a member of FIFA’s Associations Committee and sits on the Confederation of African Football’s top executive committee. He is also the president of the West African Football Union.

FIFA declined to comment on the inquiry, but said Ghana’s soccer body had received its full amount of $8 million in prize money from FIFA for the 2014 World Cup.

Ghana’s campaign at the tournament was chaotic, with players threatening to go on strike over unpaid bonuses. The government flew $3 million in cash to Brazil to keep the players playing.

A quarterfinalist in 2010, Ghana was eliminated in the group stage in Brazil without winning a game.

___

Imray reported from Cape Town, South Africa.

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