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Ghana’s timing of Afcon 2021 failure probe defended ahead of Nigeria showdown

6:36 am AEDT 18/2/22
Andre Ayew Jordan Ayew Daniel Amartey Andy Yiadom Ghana
Personnel of the Parliamentary Select Committee for Sports has explained their decision to continue with investigations

Ranking member on Ghana’s Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth and Sports and Culture, Kobina Mensah Woyome believes a probe into the Black Stars disappointing Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Cameroon is a good step ahead of next month’s crucial 2022 World Cup qualifying play-off against Nigeria.

On orders of the speaker of the national parliament, an inquest has begun into the Black Stars’ first-round elimination at the tournament, with various parties, including the Ministry of Sports, the National Sports Authority, and the Ghana Football Association all lined up for appearances.

The probe, though, has been met by a lot of criticism for a perceived poor timing as the big showdown with the Super Eagles is only a month away.

“The committee thoroughly discussed this [timing] and the reason we need to do this even before the game is to probably come across some mistakes which may have led to the poor performance, so we can quickly see how we can rectify them before the games against Nigeria,” Woyome told Citi Sports.

“Because the next game is very crucial to us, if we really want to make it to Qatar, we couldn’t choose any other time than now, per the thinking of the speaker [of parliament].

“He wants us to submit a report before the end of the month, so that some of the recommendations can be used as part of preparations for the game against Nigeria.”

Aside from the Ministry of Sports, the National Sports Authority, and the Ghana Football Association, reports indicate Black Stars captain Andre Ayew has also been hauled before the investigative committee.

Fiifi Tackie, a spokesman for the Ayew family, has, however, rejected the speculation.

He was reported as saying on Wednesday: “As at yesterday, no. We heard it on the radio. The player was not even aware of any invitation.

“With all due respect, I expect Mr Woyome or the guys on the Parliamentary Select Committee to do a professional job by sending letters to whoever they’re inviting before they discuss it on radio.

“It is highly unprofessional for anybody to get an invitation through the media, I don’t think it’s a good thing for anybody to do, but it appears that politicians are very comfortable discussing matters on air.

“It appears we are shifting focus or lost focus on the game against Nigeria.”

Ghana, who finished bottom of their group at Afcon, are set to face Nigeria on March 24 and 27 to decide who represents Africa in Qatar later this year.