Ghana bans gov’t officials from World Cup jaunts


Ghana’s president has banned his ministers and other government officials from travelling to South Africa to watch the World Cup unless they have official roles at the tournament.

John Martey Newman, President John Atta Mills’s chief of staff, said the order was meant to ensure that government business was not disrupted during the competition, which kicks off in Africa for the first time on June 11.

Ghana’s Black Stars, one of the continent’s brightest hopes, were the first African team to qualify for the 2010 World Cup and will face Germany, Serbia and Australia in Group D.
“The idea is for people to stay here and perform their duties during the tournament,” Newman said.

Ghana made their debut World Cup appearance at the last tournament in Germany, and beat the Czech Republic and the United States in the group stage before losing to Brazil in the last 16.

Mills himself is due to be among the dignitaries attending the Black Stars’ opening march with Serbia on June 13.

Pic: President John Atta Mills of Ghana