For a good three years, the gold-winning Black Queens have not received their allowances for playing for the female national team from government, it has emerged.
Despite their numerous sacrifices for the nation, players of the national female team feel despised by the state. Some are even contemplating dishonoring any future call-ups.
Even after winning the ultimate in the just ended All Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville, the government has failed to pay their bonuses.
Sports Minister Mustapha Ahmed admitted in an interview with Joy Sports that the Ministry’s coffers are showing red and cannot pay the players.
“We have compiled all the debts. And these debts are not debts accumulated this year. They are debts running into three years back,” the minister said.
According to the Minister, the situation is so dire that government “owes” the M-Plaza Hotel where the Queens have been lodging since returning from the Games.
Mustapha Ahmed, subsequently, pleaded with the players who are bent on taking their bonuses before going home, to leave the hotel as government finds money to pay them.
Their continuous stay at the hotel means further accumulation of debt for government, the Minister noted.
The reaction to this series of events has been one of outrage by Ghanaians.
The way the female teams are treated is largely seen to be a sharp contrast to how their male counterparts are treated. About three million dollars was flown to the Black Stars in Brazil in last year's World Cup tournament, though eventually the side crashed out disgracefully.
In fact, the Black Stars have yet to win any trophies or gold medals in any tournament for decades – the last time was in 1982 when they won their fourth African Cup.
The Black Stars are often treated to dinners or luncheons at the presidency as a show of appreciation for representing the nation, even when they place second or – as was the case in 2010 – when finished in the top eight of the World Cup.
But after winning gold, the Queens are relishing an opportunity to meet with the President or the Vice President, shake hands for at least the photo ops that come with that.
It is yet to happen.
Senior sports journalists Kwabena Yeboah and Karl Tufuor also told Joy News the lack of equity will cripple women’s football in the country.
Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports
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