I hope Ghanaian footballers called to play for the Black Stars recognize that apart from the pride and high honour in representing our nation, taxpayers are making extraordinary sacrifices on the team despite the prevailing economic crisis.
The huge financial burden on struggling taxpayers must warrant some respect and utmost commitment from these players.
Documents submitted to Parliament by Ghana’s Youth and Sports Ministry a few weeks ago have shed light on a number of these Black Stars expenditure items:
1) 2024 AFCON Qualifier (Ghana V Angola — Home & Away) — GHS7,452,437.71
2) 2024 AFCON Qualifier (Ghana V Madagascar — Home & Away) — GHS8,395,434.13
3) 2024 AFCON Qualifier (Ghana V Central Africa Republic — Home & Away) — GHS3,414,894.51
4) April to June 2023 salaries of the coach & signing on fees — GHS3,379,548.10
5) The official ministerial documents also reveal that it cost taxpayers a significant GHS5,324,721.89 to airlift supporters of the Black Stars during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
These 5 items alone amount to a colossal GHS27,967,036.34
Note that this GHS27.9million spent on Black Stars related activities during a period of historic economic crisis does not include latest tournament expenditure items in Côte d’Ivoire (I shall highlight that later).
For a country undergoing unprecedented financial haircuts which does not spare even the aged, and for a country unable to raise GHS4million to save lives at Korle-Bu’s renal unit — players of our senior national team and GFA officials must acknowledge that there are so many national problems we can solve with GHS27.9million and that we do not deserve this calamitous output.