"I am committed to bringing some sanity to the management of football and the national team. I won’t sacrifice those principles for anyone." - Sports Minister.
The Ghana Football Association president said last week that the minister’s responds and reacts to issues ‘like a serial caller’ as the tensions between the two escalated.
Vanderpuye told 3FM92.7 that he was offended by the comment and says he deserves respect for at least the office he occupies.
The former sports broadcaster is however insistent that his has no personal issues but says he is simply on a mission to cleanse the way sports is run in the country.
“I am committed to bringing some sanity to the management of football and the national team. I won’t sacrifice those principles for anyone. Certain aspects of our football has been mismanaged and Ghanaians have not been happy with that,” he said.
The Minister’s latest spat with the GFA has revolved around the availability of funds for the 2017 Nations Cup qualifier against Rwanda. Vanderpuye says a lack of money to fly the players down, pay per diem and winning bonuses for the game should have influenced the call ups. He says he advocated to the GFA management committee for priority to be given to local players both as a cost saving measure and a boost.
Instead Avram Grant named a squad made up of 21 foreign based players and only two ply their trade locally.
“We think we need to cut cost. We have already qualified for the Nations so the outcome of this game is not important. Why do we want to kill a fly with a sledge hammer?”, Vanderpuye asked. “We don’t have the finances. When we were playing more important games we did not make this request. The situation now demands that this is the most prudent step to take.”
The problem has become so pronounced that some of the foreign based players are paying for their own flight to travel to Accra for the game against at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday. Vanderpuye says it is a welcome move.
“We don’t have a budget for a budget for this match. It is that simple. We have other more competing demands. The money is not mine, it belongs to the state.
“The issue has to do with resources. We don’t have it. I have to go round borrowing, beg and all that to get the money. We owe on hotels, travel and tours for tickets and we owe the Black Stars on outstanding bonus. The money is not there. We need others to make the sacrifice.”
The minister has launched what he calls a crusade to reduce government spending on the Black Stars. He has moved for bonuses for the team to be slashed and is holding unto his belief that the Black Stars management members should not be entitled to winning bonuses.
Nyantekyi has said he is not aware of any bonus slash but Vanderpuye says the Ministry which pays is not required to tell them.
He said: “The GFA does not determine how much bonus has to be paid to the players. The then structure was that management committee members earned a percentage of what the players got so why should they be stakeholders in deciding what goes to the players? There would be conflict there. The ministry negotiates on behalf of Ghana with the players. If you get a percentage of what the players get what would you do? You would want more for the players, so you get more.”
The minister is also firm in his belief that at this stage, management committee members do not deserve to be paid bonuses.
“I have said that I don’t have any problem with paying management committee members but I am not convinced in my mind that management committee members should be paid a winning bonus. If they are able to convince me why they should, I would be able to justify it where I get the money from. As at now I am unable to convince those who provide the money that we must pay winning bonuses to members of the management committee.”
It looks like there is no end in sight to what is providing to be a gripping public spat.