Ghana’s hopes of reviving its national football teams will remain a pipe dream if the country’s sports ministry is unable to settle the whopping $2million it owes players in outstanding bonuses with key matches looming.
Plans to revive the national teams has been seriously undermined by the government’s – owners of the national teams – inability to pay players their agreed bonuses, in some cases for about two years, which has led to low morale.
Players of the various national teams – both males and females – have not been paid their winning bonuses for nearly two years which has contributed to the low confidence among players, which could lead to unimpressive results.
Even the Black Stars, who were previously seen as the pampered lot, are now suffering the malaise of unpaid bonuses, a situation that led to global embarrassment at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Bonuses for the senior national male team, the Black Stars, has not been paid for their last match which has raised serious concerns as well as that of the female national teams.
Morale of the players of the Black Stars, captained by Swansea City superstar Andre Ayew, is at its lowest ebb with the team preparing to play South African and Sao Tome & Principe in crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has been embarking on a campaign to revive football in the country with its #BringBackTheLove following recent setbacks but if the federation and the sports ministry are unable to settle the debts owed the players the crusade would be futile.
Angry players of the various national teams have told Ghana’s leading football news outfit Ghanasoccernet.com of the embarrassment and humiliation they have faced when trying to demand for their monies.
Players are now preparing to embark on a fresh demonstration to demand their monies if the sports ministry and the GFA don’t come clean over their bonuses and ‘expose the authorities for sitting on their monies’ – a player of one of the national teams said on the condition of anonymity.
Several players of the female national team the Black Queens were subjected the government to serious embarrassment late last year when they staged a demonstration at the offices of the sports ministry to demand their monies after several failed promises of paying the debt.
Previous sports minister Isaac Asiamah has bequeathed the monstrous debt to his successor Yussif Mustapha who must now look for the avenue to pay players their monies before the latter’s reign is rocked with serious embarrassments.
With top qualifying matches looming for the Black Stars and other senior national teams of the country also set to play in other important qualifiers the issues of bonuses could lead to bad results and friction between management and players.
The issue of bonuses has reared its ugly head again after midfielder Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng were sacked from the Black Stars squad over their unpaid bonuses at the World Cup in Brazil.
With the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup set to start for the Black Stars while they complete their qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon such issues are likely to negatively affect the team.