The New Crusading GUIDE has learnt that several Ghanaian journalists have been denied media accreditation for the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games as a result of what many believe was the massive visa fraud at the 2018 Australia Gold Coast 2018, that led to the detention and deportation of hundreds of “fake” Ghanaian journalists in Australia.
This is the first such case of widespread denial of media accreditation to Ghanaian media applicants for the Games, which is popularly referred to as the friendship games held among former British colonies.
One of the affected applicants said he had high hopes of being accredited for the games after receiving a favourable email from the Games Organisers after submitting his application. But he received another email that said the initial message was invalid, followed by another message that said his application had been declined.
Another journalist reported that the Games Organising Committee declined his application saying they were only considering national media organisations for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and not private media applicants.
Ghana recorded a shameful visa racketeering scandal at Gold Coast 2018 when media reports, while the games were ongoing, flagged that more than 60 Ghanaians had been stranded, detained, or deported from Australia by immigration authorities and transit countries like Singapore on suspicion of visa fraud.
According to the reports, the Ghanaians carried visas as journalists issued by various media organisations in Ghana through the GOC and claimed they were due to cover their country’s team at Gold Coast 2018.
However, Australian immigration authorities were not convinced about their reasons for traveling because the travelers did not carry the recommended equipment as journalists for coverage of such a sporting event.
It will be recalled that over 90 Ghanaian “journalists” were accredited for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, according to records released by the Ghana Olympic Committee.
It is also known that the Games Organising Committee usually consults the GOC to verify whether or not media organisations existed and operate in their jurisdictions after the initial application period before decisions were made on the fate of applicants. The Gold Coast 2018 Games Organisers were so liberal that they even reopened media application for Ghana upon a request by the GOC. It remains to be seen if Birmingham 2022 would accord similar courtesies to the GOC this time.
Meanwhile, the deadline for media accreditation for Birmingham 2022 elapses on 29th April 2022. The Games will be held from 28 July to 8 August 2022.