Some foreign-based players of the women national teams, the Black Queens, have appealed to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to reconsider the decision to pay qualification bonus instead of winning bonuses to the team.
The players are appealing to the authorities to find ways of paying the bonuses on time to motivate the players invited to represent the nation in both qualifiers and tournaments and to also serve as a form of security when they skip club duties for a national call.
Since 2014, all national teams have been paid qualification bonuses instead of winning bonuses, a situation the Queens describe as unfair and a big disincentive.
Per the arrangement, each tie in a qualifying match attracts $3,000 as bonus, so if there are three rounds of qualifiers, that will amount to $9,000. However, the players are required to qualify for the tournament in the case of a qualifying series or advance to the next round of competition (if they were taking part in a tournament) to receive that bonus.
For instance, in 2014 the Black Princesses won two matches at the group stage at the Under-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada, but they did not earn any bonus because they failed to advance to the next stage of that competition.
Some of the players who shared their concerns with the Graphic Sports said that arrangement was made without consideration to their peculiar situation, given the financial gap between them and their male counterparts who were called up for national duty.
One of the players explained that unlike their male counterparts who earned regular wages at their clubs, female players were on short-term contracts with their foreign clubs and were usually paid according to the number of matches played for the club within the season.
So once they leave their club duties to honour national call-ups, they lose their wages despite being given permission by the clubs.
“The loss becomes double when we report for national duty and end up with nothing either for failing to qualify for the tournament or advancing in a competition, though we may have won some matches,” she stated.
Another player also expressed her displeasure about the delay in payment of bonuses, with their qualifying bonus for the 2015 African Games and the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations still in arrears.
“Apart from those of us who are lucky to earn some contracts abroad, playing for the national team is the main source of income for most of us, so taking such a decision means that most of the players are left with nothing much,” she added.
The Queens face Kenya in the third round of the African qualifying campaign for the sole ticket to 2020 Olympic Games after eliminating Gabon on a 5-0 aggregate last week.