By Ameenu Shardow
The Black Stars will receive $12,500 as winning bonus per match at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
This was disclosed by Sports Minister Kofi Humado when the team paid a courtesy call on President John Mahama at the Osu Castle on Thursday.
The visit by the Black Stars was to receive the blessing of Ghana’s leader on the eve of their departure for their pre-2013 Africa Cup of Nations camp in Abu Dhabi.
The issue of the team’s financial package in South Africa has stirred a lot of controversy.
The Ghana FA had intended to increase the winning bonus to $17,000 but it was immediately returned to the same amount received by the players at the last Nations Cup following a media backlash.
This means the Black Stars’ bonus remains unchanged from 2012 due to according to the minister the proximity of the last edition of the AFCON to the ensuing one and also because of the enormous pressure on government’s expenditure occasioned by the 2012 general elections.
“We know that the expectations of the team were quite high but the rates that Government has provided is the rate that we provided for the last tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon,” he said.
“This is because normally we should have this games every two years but because of some realignment at the CAF level we have had to have the 2013 tournament back to back with the 2012 tournament.
“And this has put tremendous pressure on the funds of government. We all know we are just recovering from an election where a lot of money was spent.
“So we are craving on the indulgence on all of us particularly members of the team to recognize the special difficulties that government finds itself and to sacrifice a little bit for the course of the country.”
Humado however hints there could be extra incentives given to the team from a potential sponsorship package from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC).
“Fortunately GNPC has also offered some sponsorship so we are working out with them together with the GFA to provide top ups to those rates that fall below the expectations of the team members,” he added.
Ghana will begin its Nations Cup campaign against DR Congo on January 20 – a day after the official start of the competition.
The Black Stars will then face Mali and Niger in the subsequent Group B games at the tournament.