Takyi goofed but…

Takyi goofed but…

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Ussif Mustapha (in white) speaking with Takyi during the car presentation

THE few days before the Black Bombers (Ghana national boxing team) departure to Dakar, Senegal for Paris 2024 Olympic Games was quite distractive.
The team camped for a period of time; away from the prying eye of the media and they enjoyed relative peace.
They had the focus and concentration needed for such a high profile competition.
And, then, the announcement of the invitation of boxing celebrity, Seth ‘Freezy MacBones’ Gyimah into the team was made. That ‘blew their cover’ and started attracting the attention of the media and the general public.
First, the public’s focus was the circumstances around his invitation, as it came few weeks after Olympic Games bronze medalist, Samuel Takyi, announced a return to the amateur ranks.
For the first time, Ghana had two professionals staging returns to the amateur level of the sport.
Takyi, who was Ghana’s sole medalist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games had left to join the professional rank and even won his first few fights under the Bazooka Boxing Promotions.
So, the announcement of his comeback came as a surprise.
But when the storm over the two seemed to have settled, the team’s camp was hit with another dispute with Takyi as a lead character.
Although it was well explained to him that he would have to ‘fight’ for a position in the team and everyone agreed, his absence in the final team that left Accra to Dakar on Wednesday has attracted different interpretations.
With the above explanation, it was clear Takyi was not included because he failed to make the mark.
And that was fair!
But Takyi’s decision to hold the entire nation to ransom by demanding arrears owed him by the state, and unequivocally declaring that until payment was made to him, he would not fight for Ghana, plainly fuelled another school of thought that he stepped on some big toes and was paying the price for that.
As an ardent follower of boxing with a fair understanding of the rules that governs it, I would respect the decision of the technical team led by Coach Ofori Asare to leave him out. I am doing so because of my
enormous respect for him and belief that there was no underhand dealings.
That, notwithstanding, it is important to also consider the views of the boxer who genuinely felt the state owed him US$20,000 for his efforts that won the nation a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Eventually, it proved to be true but as to how he got the amount owed him wrong still beat imagination.
Before traveling to Tokyo, athletes were promised various sums of money depending on the medals they win at the Games.
With a bronze medal feat, Takyi came home dreaming about pocketing a whopping US$50,000.
That amount was exact but the breakdown suggested that other factors would reduce the cash component to US$10,000.
Rightly, when the team arrived and called on the presidency, Takyi’s package, just like the other boxers that rode on his popularity, were announced.
For his reward, he was given a car which according to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) cost $20,000, leaving an amount of $30,000; out of which he received $10,000 in cash while $20,000 was to go into a fund to aid his career development.
Obviously, that is one area a lot of the athletes kick against behind the scenes but have not mustered the courage to spill it out.
Following that was the MoYS response that captured every detail of the ‘transaction’ to clear its image and that of the government.
“The attention of the Ministry of Youth and Sports has been drawn to media publication on the demands from Mr Samuel Takyi with respect to the promise of US$20,000 made to him by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.”
It stated that: “The government of Ghana has fufilled its pledge to the Tokyo Olympics team, including Mr Samuel Takyi. The promise was made up of $150,000 detailed as follows.
Of that amount, $100,000 was for the team made up of 14 athletes and seven coach¬es and $50,000 for Takyi for winning the bronze medal.

By Andrew Nortey

Google+ Linkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *