Let’s Stop Pampering Black Stars
This is not the first time the Black Stars will be losing a World Cup match but recent attitude of the players over the delay in payment of their appearance fees is the last straw which has broken the camel’s back.
Ghanaians are sick and tired of the way the 23-member black Stars and their almost 50 officials will hold the country by the ‘balls’ and threaten with all sorts of blackmails.
The current and future Black Stars must know a few things that firstly, without the Black Stars, Ghana will still be in existence and that playing in a competition like the World Cup does not add an ounce of life to the average Ghanaian or improve the living standard of an average Ghanaian.
For most of the Black Star players, but for football, they would be selling meat in markets in their various hometowns, drivers and may be civil servants who will never earn a $100,000 in 20 years of their working lives.
The country has created a monster called Black Stars that dictate to all of us including even the President. Other promising sports disciplines like Volleyball, Handball, Hockey and Boxing encounter a lot of problems preparing for international competitions with kits and bonuses being a problem, preparing for international competitions with kits and bonuses being a problem, that is not the case with the Black Stars. Again in recent times while bonuses to the Black Queens playing in competitions are a challenge, we run over ourselves to get money for the Black Stars to play even friendly matches.
God is a just God, that is why players like Kelvin Prince Boateng who refuses to play for Black Stars in friendlies and qualifies but will find strength and energy to play in the World Cup matches, will under-perform in the competition, especially the Ghanaian Germany match.
For a player who Chelsea manager, Jose Mourinho, once described as “a player who has done more different hairstyles than the goals he scored in a season,” this must be embarrassing. The country’s football administrators must also begin to change their strategy, in a sense that firstly, it does not make sense to many Ghanaians as to why though corporate Ghana government will raise GH3 million to support more than 500 supporters at the cost of $6,000 each (GH18,000), whereas if many of the supporters were asked for an option, many would have preferred half of the money to buy television sets, watch the games in Ghana and use the rest of the money to start some small businesses.
This is a typicall example of misuse of corporate Ghana donations. Almost all successive ministers of youth and sports are guilty of virtually making the ministry, a ministry of youth and Black Stars. The excuse often given that Corporate Ghana always wants to be identified with the Black Stars, is far from the truth.
If a company decides to use GH20,000 to airlift Black Stars supporters to World Cup, that company will enjoy less publicity unlike when that same company uses that same money to sponsor a handball, a volleyball league or other lesser known sports, that company’s name will be mentioned every week during the league competition.
The Daily Dispatch can say on authority that some of the boxers who go on camping for international games depend on handouts from ex-players, well-wishers to survive. This year, the country budgeted $9.5 million for the Black Stars if they get to the final. From the breakdown of the estimates, if we are eliminated from the group stages as has happened to the Black Stars, we would have spent $4.1 million. So the Ministry of youth and Sports will have to return $5.4 million.
Apart from the $9.5 million allocated to the Black Stars, we also spent $1.5 million on preparations towards the games including the friendlies. As a country, we should be ashamed that we spent about $10 million on a group of individuals who are selfish and think they are bigger than the country Ghana, whose back they rose to where they are now. Most of the players of the Black Stars got their international club contracts playing for national team. We dare the government to dedicate $10 million yearly to hockey, handball, volleyball and other disciplines, and we can say that there will be a change.