GOC’s Noono-Mensah Fingered in Winter Olympics Visa Scandal

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The President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) Ben Noono Mensah has been fingered in ongoing arrangements for the 2022 Winter Olympic games in Beijing, China for attempting to smuggle a nine (9) member delegation to the games at the blind side of the ministry of sports. Only one athlete is representing Ghana in the 2022 winter games.

Noono’s list of nine (9) delegates included Ghana’s only athlete to the games Carlos Maeder and eight (8) other non-athletes with dubious titles including Farida Ayishatu Iddriss (accreditation manager), Abdul Aziz Issah (CLO) and Ben Nonoo Mensah himself (NOC President). The others on the list also included Hon. Evans Opoku Bobie, deputy minister of sports and leader of delegation, Adam Hafiz, chief director of the MOYS, Seth Panwum, board chairman, NSA and Marc Gehrig (coach).

The attempt by Ben Nonoo Mensah to send 8 delegates with only 1 athlete to China faced massive resistance from some of the members of the Ghana Olympic committee, some of who indeed resigned in protest. Many unanswered questioned remained as other members of the GOC argued that it does not make any economic or common sense for Ghana to send 9 people to China with only one athlete, unless there is an ulterior motive behind it.

On January 25, the GNA reported that Ghana’s chef de mission (CDM) for the 2022 Beijing winter Olympics Dr. Bella Bello Bitugu resigned his position barely 10 days to the start of the games. Questions remain why Mr. Noono Mensah as GOC President found it prudent to process travel documents for so many people without approval of the ministry of sports? Others are also asking whether or not this current Beijing Olympic scandal is a replay of the Gold Coast Australia Olympics visa scandal in which the same GOC under Ben Noono Mensah sent several fake delegates to Australia in the name of Ghana only for them to be deported on arrival from that country and disgracing Ghana internationally.

As the controversy rages over number of delegates to represent Ghana in the 2022 Beijing winter Olympics, the ministry of sports has in a press release approved a fresh list of three (3) delegates including the athlete, the coach and one official from the ministry of sports. This latest announcement from the sports ministry has completely over ruled and discredited the 9-member delegation of Mr. Ben Noonoo Mensah the GOC President.

Although the sports ministry with its release, has succeeded in preventing Ben Noono Mensah from sending his dubious list of delegates to China at the expense of Ghana, the cracks created within the Ghana Olympic Committee as a result of Noono’s indiscretions remain intact and the current GOC leadership may not be able to emerge from the credibility crises it currently suffers. It is yet too early to tell if the GOC will pass a vote of no confidence in Ben Noono Mensah who appear to have brought the name of the GOC into disrepute the second time within a few years apart.