Businessman Alfred Agbesi Woyome has claimed that he played a crucial role in getting Ghana to win the hosting bid for the 2008 African Cup of Nations.
The businessman has been engulfed in litigation over his judgement debt benefits paid him by the NDC administration since 2013. Woyome was paid Ghc 51 Million as judgement debt for a contract he won “illegally” which got terminated subsequently.
Woyome has since been ordered by court to pay back the amount to the state although he he maintains he was innocent.
In an interview with Citi TV’s Umaru Sanda, Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome claimed he masterminded the Ghana’s hosting of the 2008 AFCON.
“In 2001, Honorable Osei Kwaku (late), called me and asked me what we could do for the youth.So I decided that we had to turn Ghana into a sports tourism center,” Woyome said.
“In Austria, what I saw was that they had sports mixed with other tourism activities and it earned them $40 billion per annum.
“So I said we had to do something like that. That was how it began, then it transcended to Rashid Bawa (then Education, Youth and Sports Minister), and so on.
“Then we needed to host the tournament. That brought the idea of CAN 2008. And believe you me, how did they win it in Egypt? Rashid Bawa, Rex Danquah are there, go and ask them. It was all me.
“Libya was their contestant. I had to travel to Tripoli and tell Muamar Gaddafi, ‘leave us and let’s do it’ as part of the Pan-African movement and things like that, so we won the bid.
“I had to travel to Washington to look for money. That’s why I was against the HIPC because HIPC country cannot fund a tournament hosting.
“The LOC itself, when they first formed it, I funded it because there was no money. I was later compensated for that through a court order.
“So I went to the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank, to get them to support the Government of Ghana in terms of guarantee because we were HIPC.
“Then I had to go to the market in New York, trading here and there, and there I got Bank Austria to give Ghana almost $1.4 billion dollars, the biggest softest loan ever to any country south of the Sahara. And that was how we could host the tournament.”