Ghana’s new Deputy Sports Minister Vincent Oppong Asamoah is apprehensive about the ineradicable norm of using money as a means of motivation and reward for footballers who are invited to play for the various National Teams and has given a strong indication that the system will be scrapped under the new administration.
The Dormaa West Member of Parliament says he will urge managers of the national teams to invite only ‘committed players who feel the pride in putting on the national colours and willing to ‘die’ for the nation without making awkward financial demands or otherwise.
The former deputy Water Resources minister has also stated that the patriotism and commitment of athletes to the nation must be realised through their sobriety and ability to ‘weep’ during the rendition of the Ghana National Anthem.
“I think it is time we stop this norm, this current system is damaging and I think we have to stop it somewhere now then we can start on a good note,” Hon Oppong Asamoah told Angel FM in referring to his administration’s new measures.
“You cast your mind back to all our past stars like Kwasi Appiah and others and you see the true love of the nation at heart. You see people who are proud of donning the national jersey and not just about the money”.
“Those were the times that you see Ghanaian athletes crying and feeling deep affection for the country when they get the opportunity to represent Ghana, some of them weep uncontrollably during the rendition of the national anthem and you say yes, this is love and these are people who think about the country”.
“Even currently, some of the players for other countries were seen weeping during their country’s national anthem at the World Cup but did you see any of the Ghanaian players reminiscing that act?”
“Those are the kind of players we need” He emphasized.
“It is fair that comb every part of the World and fish for all Ghanaians who are capable of offering their bits and quotas to the Nation but I we need to get Ghanaians who are proud of the nation and ready to die for Ghana, not only the footballers but every body who has something to offer”, He added
“Look at what some people have gone to Brazil and done to themselves, other also running to seek asylum and lying blatantly about the nation and do you think anybody with love for the nation will do that”, Everything is about money and so the love for the nation is not there”.
It is a common practice to see national athletes kissing their national badge and weeping when the national anthems are recited at sporting events to show affection and pride for the nation.
North Korea’s Jong Tae is known for crying when the North Korean national anthem is played before matches, most notably when Korea DPR played their first game of the 2010 World Cup against Brazil.
The new Deputy Minister’s comments is expected to generate a huge debate about whether the commitment of athletes must be based on the ability to ‘weep’ or otherwise.