The Ghana Tennis Federation (GTF) is once again saddled with the threat of a ban from the International Tennis Federation (ITF due to a $17,000 debt.
If the ban is imposed Ghana will not be able to participate in next month’s Davis Cup Competition.
The debt represents unpaid subscription fees covering the period from 2016 to date.
In an exclusive interview with Joy Sports, GTF President Isaac Aboagye Duah explained that Ghana’s affiliation to the ITF has always come at a relatively higher cost than other sporting federations because of the packages and development programmes extended to member nations by the international body.
Some sporting Federations in Ghana pay affiliation fees that range from $500 to 600 euros but that of tennis is $5,250.
“We are confronted with this very difficult situation one more time. We have made the efforts to get the funding from the Sports Ministry whose responsibility it is. But we have been unsuccessful at this. We are deeply troubled,” he said.
The GTF in the last seven years has gone in and out of a major ban from the ITF following the failure to pay for the period covering 2011 to 2013.
The GTF was rescued by McDan Group CEO Dr. Daniel McKorley, who also owns and sponsors the McDan Open West Africa Tennis Tournament.
He paid close $15,000 in total. Dr McKorley also sponsored a pre-tournament training camp in Morocco for the national team ahead of their participation in the Davis Cup.
The McDan Group CEO has been a great benefactor of Ghana Tennis over the last six years as he has extended most of his social responsibility projects in sports to tennis.
They include the continuous sponsorship of the National Junior tennis team, the renovation of the Accra Stadium Tennis Court, donation of a bus to the GTF, cash reward for the winners of Ghana’s first historic gold medal in the sport at the All Africa Games.
The Golden Rackets team is expected to participate in this year’s Davis Cup competition in Nairobi, Kenya from June 18 and need to raise the amount.
Ghana dropped from the prestigious Euro Africa Zone two between the late 90s and 2000s to Zone Four. Following the ITF’s scrapping of Zone Four, Ghana climbed automatically to Zone Three.
“We already have the very big task of returning to Zone two and need to participate in these tournaments improve on our performances year in year out and advance gradually. But as the situation stands we are in a very difficult place,” the GTF President added.
Aside from losing the opportunity to participate in the Davis Cup, all other ITF sanctioned tournaments will be closed to Ghana’s national teams. They include the West African Under-12 Tournament, which Ghana won earlier this year. Added to that will be a ban from participating in the African Junior Championships later this year.
Mr Aboagye Duah also disclosed to Joy Sports that already secured hosting rights for the Under-18 Futures tournament slated for August will be withdrawn in addition equipment support for wheelchair tennis.