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THE CONTROVERSY: SPORTS MINISTERS,THE BANE OF GHANA FOOTBALL ? THE JAILED SPORTS MINISTER AND 17 OTHER SPORTS MINISTERS SINCE DEMOCRACY.


Football and Politics in Ghana dates back since Ghana gained Independence in 1957. Football unites Ghana as a nation and the drive to use football as a tool to gain political points have interminably seen many astute politicians dent their political career. Talk about  Real Republican which was the mirror of the Black Stars. Talented players were poached from various teams in Ghana to play for Kwame Nkrumah's team, Republicans. These players formed the core of the Black Stars team that won gold in Africa Cup of Nations in 1963 and 1965. The appointment of Ohene Djan as the Sports director to champion the goal of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to use football to reach other African countries for Nkrumah's own political purposes cannot be deleted from the history of Ghana football.
The Ministry since the first Republic has undergone several restructuring to suit the policy direction of the government. In 2005, the Ministry was merged with the Education Ministry to form the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports . The Ministry was later re-established to represent emergent trends and structured as an instrument to drive national development through the development of the youth.
The Ministry of Sports implements its goals and objectives through the National Sports Authority (NSA), National Youth Authority (NYA) and the National Sports College (NSC, Winneba). The core mandate of the Ministry is to  formulate youth and Sports Policies and monitor  and evaluate  policy implementation to achieve national intergration. Is the Ministry up to the task? Is the  Ministry responsible just for Black Stars only ? Does the Ministry have a working Sports Policy ? Are the Sports Ministers able to blend the Youth segment and Sports segment well ? 
Since Ghana became a democratic state,18  Sports Ministers have had the opportunity to serve at such a sensitive Ministry. The longest serving Minister was  Mr. E. T Mensah serving for 8 years with the the shortest stint been his successor, Mallam Yussif Issah spending just a month as the Sports Minister. In the last 19 years, 17 Ministers have been appointed to steer the affairs of the Ministry, quite alarming? 

Former Sports Minister Jailed for Four Years
The story of Mallam Yussif Isaiah seems to be  evanescent in the history of Ghana football. An Accra High Court in July 2001 sentenced the Sports Minister,  Mallam Yussif Issah  to four years in prison on charges  of stealing and causing fininacial loss to the
 state. Mallam Yussif was jailed as a result of a World Cup qualifier 
match the Black Stars played in Sudan on 24th February, 2001.
The Black Stars were outclassed in the Merrikh Stadium  loosing 1-0 to the Sudanese side. Issah was relieved off his position as the Sports Minister by President John Agyekum Kuffour after the $46,000  intended for team bonuses disappeared en route to Sudan. Issah was not known in Ghana football until his appointment as acting chairman of the PNC which supported the ruling NPP government in the 2000 election. Justice Julius Ansah delivering his judgment averred that, the charges on Mallam Issah is proven beyond reasonable doubt and that Issah fraudulently stole an amount  of $46,000  meant as winning bonus for the Black Stars.


Former Sports Minister, Mallam Ali Yussif Issah 
 Issah however  insisted that he was innocent  and that the money was stolen by corrupt officials at the Sports Ministry. This hullabaloo directed much attention to Sports Ministers and from then, there's been 15 ministers since Mallam Yussif's arrest in 2001 who have sat on the tenterhooks.
Sports Ministers Since Democracy 
There is a School of thought that, after Ghana opted for democracy as the system of governance, Ghana, a revered powerhouse of African football has stalled in their quest to be successful in African Football. Talk about the laurels of the Black Stars in the 60's and 70's and the dominance of Asante Kotoko in Africa Club Competitions in the 80's. Conversely, Ghana continued to be strong  in the 90's through the spirited performance of the Black Starlets and the Black Satellite in  World football as well Accra Hearts of Oak's dynasty in the early 2000's. Can we contribute all these to the marvelous works of the Sports Ministers? I guess a case can be made for a few. Let's take a look at the former Sports Ministers since 1991.
 Minister                                          
   Period 
1. Lt. General Arnold Quainoo                 1991-1993
2. Mr. E. T Mensah.                                  24/04/1993- 6/01/2001
3. Mallam A. Yussif Issah                        14/02/2001- 14/03/2001
4. Papa Owusu Ankomah                          1/08/2001- 16/10/2001
5. Mr. E. Osei Kweku                               13/11/2001- 17/04/ 2003
6. Mr. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu                  17/04/2003 -3/02/ 2005
7. Hon Yaw Osafo Marfo                          3/02/2005- 8/05/2006
8. Papa Owusu Ankomah                         8/05/2006- 6/08/2007
9. Hon. Dominic Fobih                            6/08/2007- 6/01/2009
10. Hon Mohammed M Mubarak.          13/02/ 2009- 9/06/2009
11. Hon Rashid Pelpuo.                          16/07/2009- 25/01/2010
12. Hon. Akua Sena Dansua.                  11/02/2010- 4/01/2011
13.. Hon Clement K. Humado.                14/02/2011- 31/01/2013
14. Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah.                14/02/2013- 8/07/2014
15. Hon. Mahama Ayariga                        8/07/ 2014- 14/03/ 2015
16.Major (Dr.) Mustapha Ahmed.            14/03/ 2015- 18/01/2016
17. Hon. Nii Lantey Vanderpuye.            19/01/2016- 6/01/2017
18. Hon. Issac Kwame Asiamah.              02/2017 - present 

On an average, these ministers spent One year5 months at the Ministry. My irking questions are, what factors goes into the selection of a Sports Minister ? Can Sports be separated from Politics ? Who has been your best Sports Minister?  Who has contributed most to the development of Ghana Sports? Which Minister blended  the other segment of the Ministry well with Sports ? Are Sports Ministers the overseers of Black Stars ? 




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