Ghana’s new sports minister has disclosed that monetary payments to the senior national team, the Black Stars, will be in the local currency, the Ghana cedi; and no longer in US dollars.
“We will pay the dollar equivalent of the amount agreed upon as their bonus into their accounts. No dollars again,” the Minister, Nii Lante Vanderpuije; is reported to have said.
He was speaking on a local radio station, Nhyira FM, where he stated that the Ministry was going to follow similar processes to those used to reward the players at their clubs.
We will pay the dollar equivalent of the amount agreed upon as their bonus into their accounts. No dollars again. No player will be receiving bonus in dollars anymore. That is not our currency.
“I have directed that the bonuses of the Black Stars should be paid in the local currency into their individual accounts,” he said.
“No player will be receiving bonus in dollars anymore. That is not our currency.
“We are aware that where the players play [abroad], they are not given cash (money) as their salaries or bonuses. It is paid into their accounts, so we will also do that,’‘ he emphasized.
By the current posturing of the Minister, most sports pundits are predicting a collision course between the Minister and the players, with the history that the players have in the past vehemently refused payments in local currency opting for the dollar.
The rejection of a similar arrangement – i.e. payment in Ghana cedi – led to the infamous situation where the government ordered money (over $3m) to be airlifted to Brazil to avert a boycott by the Black Stars during the last World Cup.
All 21 players and members of the technical team were subsequently paid $100,000 in cash as their apperance fees before they accepted to honour their last grup game against Portugal.
The unfortunate circumstances in Brazil led to the formation of a Presidential Commission of Enquiry which was tasked to do a total review of what has become known as the ‘Brazil faisco,’ the body has since presented its report to the President.
Currently the team earns $10,000-per-game as winning bonus even though people are calling for the amount to be halved (i.e $5,000)
Ghana plays Mozambique in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header later this month.