Is politics creeping into sports?

By: Kofi Owusu Aduonum

The Chronicle Sports investigative team’s probe into the power struggle of some of the associations, particularly the Ghana Cycling Association (GCA), has revealed that politics is gradually creeping into sports in the country.

As recently as last month, some bizarre circumstances robbed the Cycling Association of an opportunity to participate in the Tour de Faso.

Apparently, Ghana’s team arrived late, rendering them unqualified for the competition.
In the end, the money spent on the team as transport went down the drain, causing financial loss to the state, all in the name of politics.

A four-page document has been addressed to the Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and signed by Lee Darpoh, the self-acclaimed chairman of the GCA, petitioning the former to intervene to throw out the legitimate GCA Chairman, Mohammed Sahnoon.

The petition letter, dated August 27, 2010, revealed that Mr. Sahnoon, nephew of a former finance minister, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, is not a “party boy,” and therefore, does not merit his current post, stating:

“Sir, if Dr. Kwesi Botchwey had once been a Minister for the NDC, what is the contribution of Mohammed Sahnoon to the NDC party? Will he mount a platform to defend and campaign for our party and government?”

It added that: “For me, Lee Darpoh, the Chairman, Kofi Ohene Osae, the vice chairman, and other colleagues, the party and government can testify to our loyalty, commitment, and dedication to the NDC, and for the various roles we have played in our Better Ghana Agenda.”
In conclusion, the letter stated: “Dear Chairman, because of the love and sympathy we have for our party, government and the cycling sport, we hope you will use your good offices to help address this unfortunate problem, which Hon Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo had already initiated.”

The infamous Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) impasse stirred the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to authorise the national associations to hold fresh elections, to which the former has obliged.

However, the outcome of the GCA elections, which saw Sahnoon emerging as winner, did not go down well with ‘Party boy’  Darpoh, hence his petition to the NDC Chairman, copied to the Chief of Staff, Sports Minister, Minister of state Office of the President, Conflict Resolution and Arbitration Committee, and other high offices .

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