Youth and Sports Minister, Hon. Isaac Asiamah, has confirmed a package of $32,000 for the Black Queens for clinching the 2018 WAFU Women’s Zone B Cup.
According to the minister, each member of the team will receive at least $1,000.
Hon Asiamah made this known at his first encounter with the press organised by the Ministry of Information yesterday.
Former Black Queens player, Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo, led the team to win the maiden edition of the competition last month in Ivory Coast were promised to receive their bonuses in due time.
The team made the worse possible start losing 1-0 in their opening match against host nation but that they fought back to reach the final defeating Ivory Coast 1-0. The tournament was a dress rehearsal for the upcoming 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Ghana.
According to the Member of Parliament for the people of Atwima Mponua constituency, the government was keen in ensuring a successful hosting of the competition and has thus approved a budget of 8 million dollars. He said the amount would be used for the renovation of stadia and other training facilities to be used.
“The Akufo-Addo led government has approved $8 million for the hosting of the Women’s AFCON, and this will include renovation at the Accra Sports Stadium, training pitches at El-Wak, and the Robert Mensah stadium in Cape Coast,” Mr. Asiamah said at the press briefing.
Hon.Asaiamh who has been in office in the past 13 months also announced that the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex, which will be, renamed the Azumah Nelson Youth and Sports Centre when completed in the next 16 months will cost the nation $4 million (GH¢. 18million)
Mr Asiamah, who cut the sod for work to begin on the project said the project forms part of President Akufo-Addo’s commitment to developing sports infrastructure.
He disclosed that the amount will cover the renovation as well as the construction of new facilities including a standard football pitch, an eight-lane tartan track, a tennis court, handball court, a car park, a swimming pool as well as an ICT centre, counselling centre and an entrepreneurship centre.
Mr Asiamah also revealed that similar facilities with a seating capacity of 5,000 will also be constructed in the 10 regional capitals of the country at a cost of $1.8 million each.
While applauding the efforts of workers of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in aiding in the development of sports, the minister also urged them to eschew complacency and rather work assiduously to complete the numerous task earmarked by the ministry.
The minister revealed that revealed his administration met a debt of $51 million at the Ministry but have worked tirelessly to reduce the deficit since his assumption of office.
“When I took office there was no money, we inherited GHC 51 million as debt, there was nothing at the Sports Ministry but I think we have done well since taking over because I was not appointed to lament on problems but to solve them.
Mr. Asiamah also debunked rumours that ministry has been engulfed by ‘mafias’ who are burnt on running down every minister that takes over.
“There is no mafia at the sports ministry as has been described. They are loyal workers ready to deliver on the mandate of the President. They only needed a dynamic leader to lead the way”. He stated.
The Sports Minister also commended the Executives of the Ghana Football Association for their collaboration in ensuring that professional standards were adhered to in their dealing with the State.
He also applauded that players of the Black Stars for demonstrating gross patriotism after agreeing to the reduction in their winning bonuses. According to him, the players willingly accepted the reduction of their winning bonuses from the $10,000 to $5,000 show a clear sign of patriotism among the players.
Mr Asiamah indicated the willingness of the players to accept the cut in the bonuses showed they are patriotic.
“We have explained to the players that the government can no longer pay exorbitant winning bonuses given the limited resources at our disposal.
“Somebody is enjoying $10,000 and you bring it to $5,000, it is not easy at all. But I told the players that they were worth more than $5000 but let us develop that high sense of nationalism and patriotism for our country and they agreed. I want to report that the players are more patriotic to the cause of this country. Our players are more patriotic,” he stressed.
In commenting on the delay of the Ghana Premier League, Mr. Asiamah bemoaned the events that led to the court injunction by an Accra Circuit Court on the commencement of the league.
“I’m not happy at all, I must be honest with you and I told the GFA president that whatever it takes to resolve this issue they should continue. The GPL is an avenue for certain people in this country. Every time I go to the stadium, my doughnut will be bought and that is a means of income for somebody and these petty things help our people. So make sure you resolve all the differences that we have to ensure the league starts well”.
Both parties will be in court on March 15, 2018.
…with Gottlieb Baako