By Duncan Mackay in Lausanne
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Dominic_Adiyah_lifting_World_Cup_under-20_Egypt_2009January 14 - The Ghanian Government have been blamed for the situation which has led to the country being suspended by the International Olympic Committtee (IOC) and put in jeopardy their participation at next year's Olympics in London, where the men's football team were being touted as one of the favourites.

The "Black Meteors", the world under-20 champions, will not be allowed to compete if the situation is not resolved and denied the opportunity to try to win the country's first gold medal.

The IOC yesterday suspended the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) for Government interference, although IOC President Jacques Rogge said he was hopeful the problems in the west African country would be resolved "as soon as possible."

But Benson Tongo Baba, who is at the centre of the dispute, has warned that he does not believe the situation will be easily resolved.

Baba is disputing his defeat in the GOC elections in June 2009 when he was defeated by the Government-backed Francis Dodoo, the 1987 African Games triple jump champion, ending his 12-year reign.

Baba told the Associated Press that his country's Olympic committee was taking Ghana's Government to court over what he called "human rights breaches," after a raid on the offices by members of an anti-fraud unit. The dispute could lead to a battle for control of the Olympic body.

"Ghana's suspension is likely to run for a while," Baba told Associated Press.

"We are going to use that forum [the court case] to defend ourselves against the Government-supported group that wanted to oust us from office."


The biggest losers are set to be Ghana's young footballers who, in 2009, won the FIFA World Under-20 Cup in Egypt.

Led by AC Milan striker Dominic Adiyiah (pictured), they were being tipped for success at London, improving on the team's performance at Barcelona in 1992 when they won a bronze medal.

Nana Akomea, the former Employment and Social Welfare Minister, today blamed President John Evans Atta Mills for the situation and claimed that the Olympic ban overshadowed the achievement of last year's World Cup in South Africa, where Ghana reached the quarter-finals.

"There is something terribly wrong with the way we are administering sports and the blame should be laid at the doorstep of the Government," he said.

"They should be advised and told that it is not everything that should be politicised.

"Now all that we achieved in South Africa and the rest is becoming a disgrace with what is happening in sports administration engineered by the Government.

"We have had various warnings [from the IOC] so we should not pretend that we were not aware.

"We had two years to resolve the issue, what were we waiting for?

"Are we the only Government in Africa that we have to bully everybody?

"At the Commonwealth games in India, Ghana was nearly pushed out because of all this foolishness taking place at the IOC.

"The embarrassment is too much."

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December 2009: Ghana ordered to hold new Olympic elections
August 2009: Ghana row could cost athletes a place at World Championships
July 2009: Controversy as Ghana elects new Olympic chief