The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide has revealed that efforts have begun to resolve the impasse between the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) and young middle-distance runner, Martha Bissah.
According to Mr Hadzide, the Minister, Isaac Asiamah, has mandated him to intervene in the case and find a solution in a bid to preventing Bissah from carrying out the threat of switching nationalities.
Speaking to Happy FM’s Anopa Bosuo Sports, the Deputy Minister said it was unfortunate that the issue had been allowed to drag, but insisted that “Martha is a valuable asset to Ghana” and everything possible will be done to get her to compete for the country.
The Deputy Minister said everyone was concerned about the issue and would thus move to deal with it as soon as it was practicable.
“I can confirm that my Minister has mandated me to deal with the issue. I ask for some time to give an update, but I can say with all the confidence that Martha is an asset to Ghana and we will do all within our means to ensure that she competes for Ghana,” Hadzide said.
The GAA through its spokesperson Erasmus Kwaw, last Friday insisted that Bissah’s indefinite ban, imposed on her last year, was still in force and that’ there was no consideration to lift so the athlete was free to switch nationality if she so desired and that was a personal decision and that the GAA would not stand in her or any other person’s way.’
Bissah, who is gradually showing recovery of her lost form, has expressed her frustration with the GAA ban, saying it was preventing her from competing in events which she needed her country’s clearance to take part in and threatened to switch nationality if the issue remained the same.
However, that could be an impossible move for now, given that the International Athletics Associations Federation (IAAF) has frozen moves on nationality switch rule, pending a review of the rule.