An Ivorian-born hospitality consultant, Jean Marcel Tape, has filed a petition at the presidency claiming $1.71million reportedly incurred by the Kojo Bonsu-led National Sports Council (NSC) in unpaid tour packages for Ghanaian football supporters who travelled to South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Two years after the tournament, Jean Marcel, the Chief Executive of African Village, an event management company, approved by FIFA to render hospitality services to selected West African countries including Ghana, said Ghanaian officials had refused to pay the outstanding bills.
The impasse over unpaid tickets has set off a chain-reaction that includes a potential blacklisting of Ghanaian supporters in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“FIFA has been notified about the infamous activities of Ghana National Sports Council during the 2010 FIFA World Cup being perpetrated by the Chairman (Kojo Bonsu) and FIFA’s outcome would be disastrous for Ghanaian supports come 2014 World Cup in Brazil should Ghana National Sports Council refuse to make payment for services rendered by FIFA approved agent,” Jean Marcel threatened.
In the September 17, 2012 petition to President Mahama, made available to Daily Guide, Jean Marcel stated that in May 2010, Kojo Bonsu, the Chief Executive of the NDC, approached him for a total tour package for approximately $5.5million for 1,100 Ghanaian supporters.
The package was planned to cover air tickets, accommodation, meals and ground transportation for all the 1,100 spectators airlifted to South Africa.
However, in his petition to President John Mahama, Mr. Marcel alleged that Kojo Bonsu lured him to bring the tickets to Ghana and upon arrival at the Kotoka International Airport late May 2010; he was roughed up by a number of gun-wielding Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) operatives who subsequently snatched the tickets meant for the Ghanaian supporters.
“Your Excellency, to my surprise, Kojo hatched a plan and invited me to Ghana from South Africa to present the games tickets for supporters so that I can receive my payment, instead for Kojo to pay me. He then used BNI security officials with machine guns and kidnapped me into a small room at the Kotoka International Airport…Kojo ordered the security officials to rob me of all the game tickets numbering 2,100 and ordered me to keep quiet and leave the airport.
Sensing that my life was in danger, I boarded the next available plane to Ivory Coast,” stated Jean Marcel in the petition.
When contacted by Daily Guide, Kojo Bonsu denied ever wresting the tickets from Marcel, describing him as a “very terrible crook”.
Mr. Bonsu stated, “He is a crook; we paid him for the tickets for the World Cup. The money was transferred to him and just about two days for the World Cup to open, the tickets were not here. So we told him to bring the tickets, he brought them, we had paid him the money. The man still owes me money.”
Source: Daily Guide