Former Minister of Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has moved to clarify his comments that he was a political scapegoat in the events after last year's bungled World Cup effort.
In an earlier interview exclusively with Joy Sports, the embattled official - now based at the Office of the President - seemed to have made statements intimating that the political system had made a scapegoat out of him following the Black Stars dismal performance in Brazil.
His earlier comment was: "When there are tournaments, naturally people are excited. There is so much expectation and when we go and we don't do well, then we are all looking for somebody's blood. It's normal and so I had to be sacrificed, it’s normal.I think that we should support the New Minister. He is very capable. I have full confidence in him and his capabilities."
But in a swift move to clear the air, Afriyie Ankrah told Asempa FM on Tuesday that the comments were not couched in their proper context.
"In a football loving country like Ghana, people's emotions in the game mean that sometimes there is tension when tournaments come around," he began.
Elvis went on: "And when the national team does not do well, people get angry after being broken hearted and when that happens there is a push to look for someone to blame."
Afriyie Ankrah admitted that as the sitting minister at the time, the buck stopped with him, but offer perspective on his earlier comments.
"Just like Ghana beat Egypt 6-1 [during the 2014 World Cup qualifiers] and all of who were involved were widely praised, in the same way I accepted that the World Cup fiasco was a failure and I have taken responsibilty. That is what I meant when I earlier used the 'sacrifice' description."
Speaking in Akan on the Eko Sii Sen program, he went on: "But what I didn't like were the lies and half-truths peddled. Which is why we are all patiently for the incoming final report of the 2014 World Cup Commission."
In retrospect, the former minister reflected that he could probably have used another expression such as "paid the price" in his earlier interview.
"I am still in government. I still work with the President so such a comment would have reflected very badly and for someone who is still committed to the better Ghana agenda, I could not possibly have done so."
Responding to whether he felt confident that exoneration will come when the final recommendations are made by the Justice Dzamefe-led commission, Ankrah was coy.
"I don't expect to be exonerated. I am expecting the truth. There is only one truth and whether I went and embezzled public funds or otherwise will be laid bare and I know my administration worked with a clean heart."
The World Cup Commission is expected to present its final report in the next few days.
Source: Adom News
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