Ex-Ghana sports minister in tears before probing commission

The minister of state at the Presidency shed tears on Thursday before a presidential body looking into Ghana's participation at the World Cup
The immediate past Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, broke down in tears on his second day before a Presidential Commission probing Ghana’s participation at the 2014 World Cup.

Ankrah, who was the leader of delegation at the global football showpiece in Brazil, brought proceedings to a standstill for about five minutes when he was questioned about how he felt when the Black Stars refused to train ahead of their final group game against Portugal.

Afriyie Ankrah, who lost his job after a bizarre World Cup showing, choked on words after spewing the words: “I was devastated.”

Judge Senyo Dzamefe – the chairman of the three-man fact-finding commission - spent time to console the current minister of state at the Presidency and had to halt the hearing for the minister to regain his composure.

“Relax. Relax. Don’t be emotional. Don’t be. Take it easy,” the retired Appeals Court judge kept soothing the pains of the minister who shed tears before the panel.

“It was horrible,” Ankrah managed to opine after taking some minutes to return to his self-possession.

Earlier, the minister had told the commission that they “tried everything” to calm the players including getting President John Mahama to assure them via a teleconference, but the playing body were bent on receiving their appearance fee in cash.

He said he decided to airlift the US$ 4 million in cash to Brazil because “first of all the bank charges we’ll lose 17%” of the amount, adding that “in Brazil their currency and transaction regulations are very difficult to cash more than US$10, 000.”

The Commission has been set up to probe happenings in Ghana’s camp during the World Cup.