09.07.2002 Sports News

Foreign Based Athletes Reply Sports Minister

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A spokesman for the Association of Foreign based Ghanaian athletes, Andrew Owusu says it will be wrong for the Ministry for Youth and Sports to think that their threat to boycott the Commonwealth games is an attempt to blackmail the country. The athletes are demanding that the Chief coach of the Ghana Athletics Association, S.S Atuahene be given the sack from the Association and be dropped from the list of officials attending the Commonwealth games. They say they will boycott the games if coach Atuahene is allowed to accompany the Ghanaian contingent. The Minister for Youth and Sports has consequently set up a four-member committee to look into the threats of the foreign-based athletes. In an interview with Joy FM, Mr Osei Kwaku decried the approach of the foreign-based athletes to the issue of Coach Atuahene. He described the boycott threat as an attempt to hold the country’s participation in the Commonwealth games hostage. But Andrew Owusu, who is in Finland, told JOY FM that the foreign based athletes do not have any intention of holding up Ghana’s participation in the games. He wondered why it would be difficult to drop Coach Atuahene because most of the athletes have already done their pre-commonwealth games training regimes and that the coach would make minimal impact on their performance. The players have stated that they cannot sing the national anthem on parade alongside coach Atuahene whose integrity is questionable. Coach S.S Atuahene has been implicated in a ticket racketeering scandal at the Ghana Athletics Association in recent times.

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