Sports News of Wednesday, 18 May 2016
Government will review the structure of paying qualification bonuses to the national football teams, Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye has disclosed.
According to the Minister, bonuses will not be paid when a team is attempting to qualify for a competition, but the team will be taken care of after they have qualified, describing the current practice where national team players are paid bonuses per match as a bad precedence.
Mr Vanderpuye disclosed this Tuesday, May 17 when the Weightlifting Federation paid a courtesy call on him at the Ministry, after having qualified for the first time to compete in this year’s Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
“I just want to say on record that the principle is; we do not pay bonuses on qualifications. When you have qualified for the competitions, then we take care of it, but when you are attempting to qualify, we do not, and the truth of the matter is that a bad precedence has been set in the past with football and that we hope to change”, Mr Vanderpuye said.
“We shall change it because if footballers play qualification for Cup of Nations and they are paid winning bonus then the athletes when they also run to qualify for Olympics must be paid bonuses…so, if we are not doing that for the rest of the teams, then we should also take a look at what we are doing for football. … All the sporting disciplines and all the athletes and the sportsmen and women and footballers are all Ghanaians”.
Mr Vanderpuye promised the weightlifters that government will play its role to make sure their preparation for the event is ‘inspiring’ and ‘motivational’.
“Let me say your president himself did not have the confidence that we will qualify for Rio, he did not. He thought the task was too big and looking at the sort of environment we are in; he became frustrated, but you have proven beyond all reasonable doubt that you are committed, dedicated, selfless and you are patriotic Ghanaians and I thank you for that. This has given us a responsibility as a ministry and as a government to do all we can to make sure that your preparation towards Rio is not disrupted, it is motivational, inspiring and gives you the adrenaline to want to go out there and prove more people – not only Ghanaians but the rest of the world – wrong”.
He advised the team to take their training seriously and be extra disciplined, so they can fully participate in the Olympic Games.
“Now that you have qualified for the Olympics, Ghanaians will be expecting more from you, so, I will urge you [that] if you were training two hours before this, you should be going for four hours. You should cut on your luxury, fun and pleasure and commit a lot more to focusing on your training. This is the time you need to be extra disciplined and extra careful with your lives so that you do not pick up an injury or involve yourself in anything that could affect your chances of fully participating in the Olympics”.