Deputy Sports Minister Pius Hadzide had revealed that the Ghanaians facing deportation from Australia for being ‘non-genuine travellers’ received final endorsement from the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) before making the trip to Australia.
At least 50 Ghanaians posing as journalists to cover the ongoing Commonwealth games in Gold Coast, Australia were flagged by Australian officials after they failed to provide concrete evidence of their said profession, although all the affected persons had the right accreditation to enter Australia.
The Sports Ministry and the Ghana Olympic Committee have subsequently denied involvement in the matter, with Hadzide refuting claims that the Ministry sponsored the travels of the said journalists.
However in an interesting twist, Hadzide, who is the Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Committee for Ghana, on Thursday, disclosed on the Citi Breakfast Show, that the Competition Officials in Australia confirmed that the flagged Ghanaians had received validation from the GOC.
“I have spoken to the GOC, that is the Chef de Mission, on this matter, and their position is that they did not facilitate any such thing.
“However my checks from the Games organizers in Australia indicate that the when they receive these nominations, they seek clarification and validation from the GOC before they are allowed to travel.
“So as to whether someone was complicit or someone just didn’t do a good job we are still investigating,” he said.
The first batch of the deported Ghanaians arrived in Ghana on Wednesday night, with the rest expected to follow in the coming days.