The Chairman of the Board of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Mr. Ato Ahwoi, has dared the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to parade private outfit Westhead Limited as brokers of the Corporation’s sponsorship arrangements for the Black Stars at their own peril.
Westhead has claimed it brokered a lucrative sponsorship deal involving the GNPC for the GFA but the Board Chairman has poured scorn on the claim insisting “the decision to sponsor the Black Stars emanated from us and no such third party”.
Asked if Westhead approached the GNPC to sponsor the senior national team, Mr. Ahwoi told GNA Sports “who are they? I have not even heard the name before. We met as an outfit and decided to support the Black Stars as part of our corporate social responsibility”.
“We did not deal with any third party. If they continue to parade any third party, they risk getting nothing from us (GNPC),” he added.
The sponsorship deal worth a reported $3 million annually, for three years will see the state agency responsible for the exploration, licensing and distribution of petroleum-related activities replacing mining firm, Goldfields Ghana Limited (GGL), as the headline sponsor of the senior national team.
The GGL partnership with the GFA is expected to run out anytime soon but the mining firm has already expressed their unwillingness to continue with the $1.5 million-a-year marriage with the Black Stars. GGL’s sponsorship with the Black Stars lasted a near seven years from an initial $1.2 million in 2005.
In a bizarre twist like the infamous Mid-Sea palaver that headlined the sponsorship deal of telecommunications outfit, Glo Mobile Ghana with the GFA; GNA Sports can confirm that Westhead are claiming responsibility as brokers of the deal.
Mr Ahwoi expressed surprise at the claim by the private firm, whose shareholders surprisingly serve on some Standing Committees of the GFA.
He told GNA Sports “I have already told Kwesi Nyantakyi that they risk losing everything if they continue with this claim, which is untrue and he has totally agreed. I will not tolerate that. The next thing you will hear is that I supervised this for a kick-back when indeed our decision to sponsor the team emanated from us and no such third party called Westhead”.
The Directors of Westhead, according to information gathered by GNA Sports are Aloysius Denkabe (Chairman, Referees Committee), Joseph Yaw Appiah (Member, Black Queens Management Committee) and Owoahene Acheampong (Member, FA Cup Committee and Black Satellites Management Committee).
Like Mid Sea, Westhead will be entitled to 25 percent of the sponsorship package; 15 percent agency fee and another 10 percent for administrative fee, totaling in excess of $2 million for the total duration of the contract.
With GNPC dismissing claims of the existence of a third party regarding the deal, it is however not known the destination of the over $2 million when the deal is finalized.
When contacted, Dr. Denkabe confirmed to GNA Sports his shareholder role in West Head Company as well as Acheampong and Appiah.
With his other portfolio as Chief Executive Officer, Dr Denkabe, who is also a lecturer at the University of Ghana confirmed being the initiator of the sponsorship deal after preliminary discussions with his friend who works at the GNPC.
Dr Denkabe, however, rejected claims of a ‘conflict of interest’ regarding his involvement and that of his two colleagues, insisting they are not members of the GFA Congress which constitutes the highest decision-making organ of the football governing body.
He was the immediate-past representative of the Constituent Bodies on the GFA Executive Committee, Owoahene from AshantiGold whilst Appiah has been a long-time representative of Tano Bofoakwa and one-time Chairman of the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA).
This development further tarnishes the fading image of the GFA with several cobwebs marring the current administration.
Meanwhile, GNPC looks set to be named the headline sponsor of the GFA in the ensuing days.