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27.02.2006 Sports News

Ministry gives Athletics Association ultimatum

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 27, GNA - The Ministry of Education and Sports has given the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) up to the close of work today, (Monday) to explain their actions in Lome or face the consequences.

A letter to the association signed by Dr Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, Director, Sports Development of the ministry asked the officials to explain why due diligence was not made to ascertain the present state of facilities in Lome.

It also questioned why the GAA failed to make proper arrangement for accommodation and feeding for the athletes and officials and why money was spent on items not budgeted for.

The letter copied the GNA Sports said apart from the organizational lapses; it also observed that the association spent less than the approved 220,000.00 cedis on the athletes. It said "the association rather spent part of the amount to accommodate and feed pressmen who were not catered for in the budget," it added.

The statement said the Ministry approved the money for the trials held in Lome because it has tartan track and the believe that it has an electronic timing device to allow for objective assessment of the five local athletes selected for next month's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

"The situation on the ground at Lome however showed that there was no electronic device and a wind gauge to assess the speed of the wind," it said.

Consequently, the ministry said the championship did not achieve its purpose.

The letter also said "many of the senior officiating officials were shabbily dressed and the timing of events left much to be desired." The national athletes were compelled to move to Lome for the trials because the Ohene Djan and Baba Yara Stadia in Accra and Kumasi are being refurbished to host the African Cup of Nations in 2008.

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