Mr Wilson Yao Agbesi, the Secretary-General of the Ghana Wheelchair Basketball Federation (GWBF), says the ban on the team from participating in international competitions by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) has affected the team’s performance over the years.
In an interview with the Press, he said due to the team’s ban for non-payment of participation fee of $13,000 for an African Championship in Durban, South Africa, 2017, the team had not been able to participate in any IWBF tournaments for the past four years.
“Next year we are going to host about 50 countries in Ghana for the Africa Games and for the para-sports, GWBF is the centre for disabilities but our team been suspended by the world governing body over an amount of $13,000 since 2017, we pray that the Ministry of Youth and Sports comes to our aid as soon as possible.”
He said the situation the Federation finds itself looks like they were orphans in Ghana’s sports and added that the international mother body had again imposed a $2,000 fine on them for the delay in payment so the total amount owed to the IWBF added that they now owe $15,000.
Mr Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe, Captain for the GWBF team said that it would be a shame to host the African Games in Ghana and the GWBF would not be able to participate but to see other countries compete.
“GWBF owes the world body which needs to be cleared to enable the team to participate in international events as Ghana is to host African Games. It would not be nice for the team to see other countries winning the medals and Ghana’s team will not partake,” he said.
He stated that the ban had affected the team so much that the players are now blaming their leaders for not showing good leadership qualities to deliver their grievances to the authorities.
“We are appealing to the minister, Hon. Mustapha Ussif, Mr Samson Deen, the African Paralympic Committee (APC), Non-governmental Organizations and corporate bodies to come to our aid,” he concluded.