Ghana’s budget for the African Cup of Nations 2023 (AFCON) has risen to an astonishing $8.5 million for 2023, sparking widespread outrage and allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption within the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

This budget, the largest in the country’s history for the tournament, has aroused major concerns regarding the distribution of cash, particularly in light of the much smaller budgets of other competing nations.

The current funding allotment for Ghana’s participation in AFCON 2023 has drawn much attention and criticism.

Critics argue that, the $8.5 million budget is unnecessarily costly compared to the budgets of other African countries such as Namibia and Zambia, who have committed roughly $2.2 million and $2.1 million, respectively, for the tournament.

There are worries that a sizable percentage of this money would be used as incentives for officials and management committee members.

To make matter worse, it has been reported that the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the African football governing body, covers hotel accommodations, feeding, domestic transportation, and other expenses for over 40 officials, raising questions about the need for such a large budget.

This also raises questions about Ghana’s AFCON 2023 funds, which have steadily increased between 2012 and 2023. Despite earning larger prize money in consecutive games, the budget has continually exceeded the award amounts, prompting concerns about the fund’s transparency and accountability.

These revelations have brought the practices of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the GFA under the microscope, with allegations that, a “Silent conspiracy theory” and a pattern of embezzlement and misappropriation of funds.

The situation is compared to Nigeria’s more modest budget of less than $2 million, highlighting the stark differences in financial management between the two nations.

I have been saying this on Asempa Sports Nite and Adom Sports page that, there can be only two justifications for the budgeted 8.5 million dollars for the AFCON 2023.

The first one is, anyone who tries to justify this, is either part of the looters or very ignorant of football especially about the AFCON 2023 or has benefited from this budget.

Until Okudzeto Ablakwa brought this out, some of us have been making inquiries for the budget but we were denied.

‘Football’ people told us we were trying to disrupt the Black Stars campaign by asking for the budget before the tournament”.

Ghanaians demand for accountability is growing, as the need for reforms in the sports sector becomes increasingly evident.

Below is Ghana’s budget and prize money for the African Cup of Nations from 2012 to 2023.

20125.5million dollars1.5 million dollars
20135.8 million dollars1.5 million dollars
20154.7 million dollars1.5 million dollars
20173.4 million dollars4 million dollars
20196.3 million dollars4.5 million dollars
20215 million dollars5 million dollars
20238.5 million dollars7 million dollars