Sanzio Bahner and a player Red Bull Soccer Academy (West Africa) Limited, Owners of Red Bull Soccer Academy at Sogakope in the Volta region, has debunked allegations that it is trying 'to buy' awards from the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG).
It described the allegations as unfounded, untrue, without any factual basis and calculated to destroy Red Bull's hard won reputation.
According to a statement released and signed by the Public Relations Officer of the academy, Cubagee Uriel, the defamatory claim, being peddled by some unscrupulous persons and posted on the ghanaweb, also alleged that players at the Red Bull Soccer Academy West Africa Limited at Sogakope are subjected to inhuman treatment.
“Red Bull Soccer Academy (West Africa) limited wishes to state that at no time did either Red Bull or Mr. Siegfried Bahner (General Manager) approach SWAG to influence or bribe it for any award.
“Indeed, if SWAG, based on its own criteria wants to confer an award on Red Bull Soccer Academy West Africa Limited or its General Manager, Mr. Siegfried Bahner, it would be because Red Bull Soccer Academy West Africa Limited and Mr. Siegfried Bahner deserve such an award. It would be the height of total ignorance for a reputable organisation such as Red Bull to approach SWAG to 'buy' awards,” the statement indicated.
It observed, “Red Bull Soccer Academy also wishes to inform the general public that its facility at Sogakope is the best in West Africa and one of the leading sports facilities in the whole of Africa.
Furthermore, players at the Academy have the best of everything including training, education and above all feeding. Red Bull Soccer Academy has never compromised and will never compromise on the welfare of the players at the Academy.”
The statement noted that the academy has received immense commendation all over the world for its excellence in sports management and promotion, assuring all sports lovers that if it wins any award, it would be by dint of hard work, discipline and adherence to its core principle of attaining excellence in the promotion of sports in West Africa.
It revealed that “in view of the scandalous nature of the media reports, Red Bull Soccer Academy (West Africa) Limited has instructed its local counsel to take legal action” against any individual or entity that will henceforth publish or broadcast any unfounded allegations against the academy or its General Manager, Mr. Bahner.
On Tuesday, an article on the ghanaweb headlined, “SWAG Sells Award To Bahner, Red Bull Academy” sought to impute that Mr Bahner had tried to get SWAG to award him.
Meanwhile, President of SWAG, Ackah Anthony has also denied the allegations, stressing that "although it is a well-known fact among serious persons in the media that SWAG Awards winners are chosen by a committee whose nominations are ultimately endorsed by the entire membership, it is baffling that such libelous statements could be churned out by some irresponsible sections of the media.”
By Mohammed Muniru Kassim