Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga says the $25,000 bonus paid to the national team by sponsor GNPC is justified after their harrowing experience in Malabo where their semi-final clash against Equatorial Guinea was halted due to crowd trouble.
The announcement of the bonus by the team’s headline sponsor was made by the president, John Dramani Mahama when he met the team for breakfast on Monday after their return to Accra and has been criticised in certain areas as a waste of state resources.
According to Ayariga the amount is not even enough compensation for the trauma the players went through.
‘For those who think that GNPC rewarding the boys with US$ 25,000 is too generous, I wish they were in the stadium when the whole of Malabo was throwing stones and bottles and the armed forces and police were deployed to come and save our lives,’ he said.
‘I wish they were in the stadium and then they will know whether US$ 25,000 is worth that kind of experience.’I don’t even think it is enough.”
Ayariga also defended himself against allegations that he spent three weeks in Equatorial Guinea during the competition,neglecting his core duties as a minister.
“I was actually going in and out. People thought I was there the entire period, but I was in and out. At a point I wanted to leave, the entire team disagreed. The players even gave me their room to sleep,’ he said on Peace FM’s Kokroko morning programme,.
‘I was coming in here [Equatorial Guinea] to perform my administrative functions, take decisions with my technical people and okay decisions’.
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