The failure of Ghana’s senior national team, Black Stars, to make it to the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, should be blamed on former Youth and Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye, Director of Communications of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) Ibrahim Sannie Darra has said.
According to Sannie Darra, when the World Cup qualifiers started, the then-minister took decisions that affected the morale and psyche of the entire playing body, a situation he believes contributed largely to the team’s poor performance in the qualifiers.
Darra said Mr Vanderpuye, for instance, slashed the winning bonus of the team from $10,000 to $8,000 and chided the players to be patriotic.
Aside from that, Mr Vanderpuye, Darra continued, denied all management members of the team complimentary tickets during matches and also cancelled indemnity and unclassified payments.
Speaking on Class91.3FM’s Grand Stand programme on Monday, 13 November, Sannie Darra told host Kwame Dwomoh-Agyemang that: “Nii Lante Vanderpuye poisoned the atmosphere and insisted that the players and the management don’t deserve their winning bonus as if they are thieves. He consistently attacked anybody who was connected to the team to the extent that he said his son could coach the national team and the media couldn’t question him because they were happy of his attack on the FA.”
“We are now paying the price of all these things done against the country in the hatred of one person, Kwesi Nyantakyi,” Sannie Darra said, adding: “He didn’t want to see the eyes of Nyantakyi. How can you plan a World Cup qualifier without the involvement of the FA president? Not only that but he chose to sideline him at the time where he was occupying one of the most powerful positions in world football. He sidelined the whole management of the team and went directly to negotiate with the players.
“In my opinion, Nii Lante Vanderpuye was never fit to be the Youth and Sports minister. If we are to juxtapose what he has done … to other ministers who have helped us qualify to the World Cup successfully, he will be ranked the lowest because he didn’t act as a sports minister of Ghana but he rather acted as a sports minister in charge of anti-Nyantakyi campaign and in doing that he brought damage to the country and he never cared about it. I don’t hate him but I am only disappointed in him and some of the sports journalists who joined his crusade knowing that this was going to damage us. Imagine that the globe will not see Ghana at the World Cup. This is very sad for a football country like Ghana,” he added.