GFA must invest FIFA’s money in poor communities – Jon Benjamin

Jon Benjamin is the UK High Commissioner to Ghana

Jon Benjamin


British High Commissioner to Ghana Jon Benjamin says the Ghana Football Association (GFA) must invest FIFA’s annual contribution in poor football communities.

The Association is set to benefit from a $ 5 million financial package from FIFA for a four-year cycle.

This was after the world’s football governing body significantly increased financial support for each association from $ 1.6 million.

The Ghana FA will have access to $ 750,000 per year for football projects such as pitches, competitions and women’s football

Speaking exclusively to Winston Amoah on 3FM’s Sunrise as part of ‘Corruption Week’ on the Accra-based radio station, Jon Benjamin stated that the money given to the GFA could make a huge impact on the sport if invested in the right areas.

“I think we heard just this week at the FIFA congress money. That’s its annual contribution to organizations such as the GFA is about to increase I think the figures I heard was from $400,000 to $1.2 million. So, that’s a very large increase.

“That sort of money in Ghana can make a huge amount of difference if it’s invested in grassroots football building, football pitches or training facilities just football equipments for poor communities and that money could go a very long way.

“I wait to see the results of it and I don’t think it’s for me as an outsider or a foreigner to say what it should be used for, but I think the intention originally of that sort of FIFA sponsorship of FA’s was to support grassroots football and a vast majority of countries around the world including of course Ghana and my own country have football as by far their favourite and number one sport.

“There is a big thirst for investment in grassroots football at every level and all around the country so that’s what we hope will come out of this larger investment by FIFA”.

Asked if he was offended by the response by the GFA president in reaction to his call for accountability within the Football Association, Mr. Benjamin said he thinks the FA reacted to his comments negatively because they had no answers to the points he made.

“I thought it was not a response that adequately addressed the issues I had raised and I think I don’t want to go over this all over again.

“I have since had private meetings with the GFA which were extremely frank which I’m happy to repeat in future but generally speaking I think it’s a truism that people resort to insults when they don’t have a substantive answer to the point that’s being made to them and that’s not my style and I’m not going to reciprocate”.

By Nana Afrane Asante||Ghana

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