Ex-Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga defends Black Stars as patriots and not money conscious

Ghana players

Ghana players

Former Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga insists the Black Stars players don’t play for the nation due to the financial gains to be made.

There is an ongoing debate over the increasing financial demands of the team especially during tournaments.

Sections of the Ghanaian public are of the view that the ‘huge’ bonuses handed the players ought to be reduced to conform to the economic hardships of the time.

Others have also accused the players – most of the on fat contracts with their clubs – as being greedy with their only interest to milk the state of its scarce resources for their gains.

But the immediate past Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga who attempted to reduce the budget of the Black Stars due to a similar perception says the players don’t play for money having spent extensive time with the team at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

“In the last tournament, I spent a lot of time with the team and I realized that it wasn’t all about money,” the now Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation told TV3’s Hot Issues.

“That is why I was a bit hesitant to discuss issue of the budget when I returned because the boys were concerned about how their money issues were being discussed.

“The players are already on big contracts except for a few who don’t earn that much.

“They play because of the big stage offered them to display their skills.

“So it is not all about money but money is important because of the huge living standards expected of them.

“People expect them to be in big houses and drive big cars and this comes with some level of pressure.”

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