The President has suspended from office, with immediate effect, the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide as well as the Acting Director General of the National Sports Authority Robert Sarfo Mensah.
“The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Thursday, 12th April, 2018, suspended from office, with immediate effect, the Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide; and the acting Director General of the National Sports Authority, Hon. Robert Sarfo Mensah.
“This decision has been taken following preliminary investigations conducted into the circumstances that led to the arrest of some sixty (60) Ghanaians, who had allegedly attempted to enter Australia by false pretences, in the on-going 21st Commonwealth Games.
“The President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, Mr. Ben Nunoo Mensah; the Board Chairman of the National Sports Authority, Hon. Kwadwo Baah Agyeman; and the Chef-de-Maison for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Mr Mohammed Sahnoon, have also been recalled from the Games to assist in investigations currently being undertaken by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Police Service”, a statement from the Presidency read.
Ghanaian athletes will be representing at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia which started on Wednesday, April 4, 2018.
The international competition which is mostly covered by journalists across the globe saw some Ghanaian sports journalists make their way to Australia to cover the event.
However, about 50 Ghanaians have been deported from Australia as authorities in the country are not convinced by their reason for travelling.
There have been multiple media reports about some Ghanaians parading as journalists who have been apprehended by the Australian Immigration Authorities for failing to answer queries related to the journalism profession.
Government after the deportation stated it will probe the situaton of the said Ghanaians with the Deputy Sports Minister Pious Enam Hadidze explaining the situation to Starr News at the time:
“The explanation is that a grant of visa or entry permit is not automatic and that at the point of entry, the Australian authorities do some further investigations and so based on those investigations some of the officials are not convinced that some of the Ghanaians who purport to go and cover the commonwealth games intend to return to Ghana after the games.”
Explaining how such an incident may have occurred, The Director-General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robert Sarfo Mensah opined a theory that a long list of eligible athletes were proposed for Visa considerations ahead of the games which were accessed by the Australian authorities.
However, after the final list of 72 athletes and officials were confirmed, some rejected athletes and officials may have travelled on the blind side of the Ghana Olympic Committee and the Chef De Mission of the games Mohammed Sahnoon and hence such an occurrence.
He affirmed that visas were cancelled for those not part of the final list and subsequently those who forced their way through were nabbed by immigration authorities in Australia.
“I want to make it clear that we at NSA and at the Ministry do not process media accreditation, all accreditations are done by the GOC and the Chef De Mission”, he stated.
Ghana will participate in a host of events at the competition including boxing, athletics, badminton, cycling, hockey, shooting, swimming, table tennis and weightlifting.