Mr Speaker, the senior national football team, the Black Stars qualified to participate in the 2014 World Cup Tournament in Brazil after topping Group D at the group stages of the qualifiers for the tournament and disposing off Egypt in the final play-off.
Mr Speaker, preparation for the Black Stars participation in the tournament started with a three- (3) day non- residential training at the Accra Sports Stadium, which ended with a friendly match with a select side in the local premier league. Thereafter, the team pitched its training camps in Holland and the United States of America (USA) from 25th May to 9th June, 2014. At these training camps, the Black Stars played two (2) friendly matches; first with the Dutch national team, the Clockwork Orange in Holland and the South Korean national side, The Warriors, in the USA.
The Ghana Football Association catered for the entire cost of the Black Stars' preparation for the World Cup Tournament. The Ministry, and for that matter, Government did not spend any amount on the entire preparation of the team.
Mr Speaker, on the substantive Question on the floor, I wish to submit that an amount of one million, four hundred and fifty-nine thousand, four hundred and ninety-one Ghana cedis, twenty-nine Ghana pesewas (GH¢ 1,459,491.29) and nine million, nine hundred and fifty-five thousand, eight hundred and eighty-three United States dollars, nineteen cents (US$9,955,883.19) was released by the Ministry of Finance to the Ministry for Ghana's participation in the tournament.
However, due to exchange rate loss and bank charges, only eight million, nine hundred and eighteen thousand, nine hundred and forty-five United States dollars, six cents (US$8,918,945.06) of the dollar component released to the Ministry was credited to the Ministry's Account by the Bank of Ghana. Out of this amount, GH¢1,478,250.00 and US$422,553.16 were spent on air tickets, per diem/honoraria,
accommodation/meals, medicals, laundry and sundry expenses in the tournament itself in Brazil, leaving a balance of US$8,496,391.90. Again, an amount of four million, three thousand, seven hundred and sixty one United States dollars, eight per cent US$4,003,761.08 from the balance was advanced to the GFA for the payment of appearance fees and venue specific accommodation charges.
Mr Speaker, in response to a request by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Brazil 2014 World Cup, the Ministry is arranging through the Controller and Accountant-General's Department to open an escrow Account with the Bank of Ghana to deposit the advance of US$4,003,761.08 refunded by the GFA. In addition to this, the Commission has also directed that all other prize moneys received from FIFA in respect of the country's participation in the World Cup Tournament has to be deposited into the Account, until the end of the Commission's work.