A leading member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Boakye has called on Ghana’s striker Andre Dede Ayew to render an apology to Ghanaian soccer fans and the entire citizenry over some ‘uncomplimentary’ remarks he is reported to have made.
Grapevine reports indicate that Andre Dede Ayew chided Ghanaians apparently for their ingratitude towards the Black Stars players.
Following the Stars’ embarrassing show at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, several issues have arisen resulting in the formation of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry to probe events that characterized the national team’s stay in the tournament.
The Presidential Commission has been inviting key actors in the Black Stars’ saga for interrogation and further clarification of the issues.
Several issues have been made about how the Black Stars boycotted training sessions at the 2014 World Cup in protest of the delayed payment of their appearance fees.
While some believe the players unduly held the nation to ransom over monies that would have been paid to them anyway, others believe their actions showed clearly they play solely for the money.
Ghanaians have also been very particular about the ‘cash’ that was flown to each of the Black Stars players to boost their performance in the tournament, yet the team failed to qualify to the Quarter finals.
Black Stars midfielder Andre Ayew is reported to have stated the huge match winning bonuses and appearance fees the players receive are justified because of the work that it entails.
The 24-year-old believed receiving bonuses and allowances for their services is not a sign of being unpatriotic, because no Ghanaian works for free and they [players] are no exception.
Speaking to pressmen ahead of the 2015 African nations Cup qualifier against Uganda on Saturday, Ayew noted that playing for Ghana means fighting for the nation, adding that it is a job that merits payments as well, considering that injuries could occur on national duty.
“For every Ghanaian player, we love our country; we fight, when we come here it is a job. Not only are we fighting for our country but we’re working. Somebody can come here to play [it has happened before], go back with injury and don’t play for their clubs for like eight months, one year. It is our job so we come, play and are lucky that we can have good money because we have a job that can give us good money.”
Ayew, who scored twice during the 2014 World Cup, stated that because the players die for the nation, it is right that they are duly remunerated, but added that it is a mistake to equate football with money.
“What we take from our country, I think we gain it because we die for our country. We love our country but I think money is not football and football is not money. It is two different things; it’s just that it is a game which has become a job for us so I believe that everybody should understand that charity or giving out is things that we do but that doesn’t mean that we should show or call people to come and see what we are doing,” Dede Ayew said.
The comment by Dede Ayew seems to have infuriated soccer fans in the country and speaking on Peace FM’s Morning Show, Nana Boakye insisted that the skillful young player should not be allowed to go scot free if he made such remarks.
According to him, Ghanaians pleaded for his inclusion in the team and so, it is unfair for him to make such comments since people are paid to work.
“If he said that, he has to come out and apologize to Ghanaians…We gave you the opportunity. I remember the first time we sent him (to the World Cup); I knew people had to beg for his inclusion; the first time we took him as a very young guy. So, how can you turn around and tell Ghanaians now that you are not a philanthropist?” Nana Boakye questioned.