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Sports News
Crisis Hit Ghana Hockey Teams 7/11/2008

The national youth hockey teams currently in Cairo for the African under-21 Hockey Championship are in crisis because there is no money to purchase basic logistic for the players to facilitate their trainning.

Technically, the money for the tournament was released in May by the Ministry of Finance but it has become very difficult for officials of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports (MoESS) to access it because of government''s new system aim at curbing corruption.

Daily Graphic sources say, accounts officers of national teams would no longer be allowed to carry huge sums of money while travelling, instead, the money would banked with a a particular bank and could only be accessed on arrival.

However, since the teams'' arrival last Sunday, Mr Clement Tettey, an official from the ministry in charge of the teams'' financies have not been able to access the money with the ECOBANK Visa card given to him from Accra.

Several frantic calls have been made to Accra to rectify the problem but to no avail.

The Chairman of the Ghana Hockey Association, Oko Nikoi Dzani, who is expected to arrive in Cairo tomorrow (Thursday) is said to be talking to officials of ECOBANK for solution.

At the monent the accountant''s personal money as well as some members of the hockey association has run out as officials try to meet the needs of the players.

The players were compelled to drink water from the tap instead of the usual bottled water after yesterday''s trainning exposing them to health hazards.

Mr Tetteh said even if the problem was solved he could only access $500 at a go and even that would be its equivalent in Egyptian pounds.

He feared the money could loose its value suggesting that if authorities in Accra could arrange for at least half of the money to be given to take care of the boys so that the rest which would be in dollars comprise per diem and winning bonuses to paid on the teams'' arrival in Accra.

Ghana was the first to arrive hoping to make use of the water-based pitch before the July 11-19 competition but little benefits have been realised.

Aside the daily frustration the teams have to go through before using the pitch, their spirit seem to have been dampened by the dearth of money which the handlers fear could affect their openning match on Friday.

Six teams in each division (male and female) will battle for honours for the top two team to represent Africa at the next junior World cup to be co-hosted by Malaysia and Singapore.

Source: Daniel Kenu for daily Graphic

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