Ghana’s Youth and Sports minister Isaac Asiamah has jabbed the main opposition party – the National Democratic Congress over a gargantuan promise of paying players of the Ghanaian top-flight GHS1,500 a month.
The result-oriented minister, who represents the people of Atwima Mponua constituency in Ghana’s Parliament, says the claim by the opposition party is fictitious and only aimed at wooing voters.
Opposition leader John Mahama has made several wild promises to football clubs and footballers in Ghana in his bid to win the presidential poll in December.
The promises have now come under tight scrutiny after claims that his government failed to improve the industry during their eight-year tenure.
The former Ghanaian leader has promised to pay the salary of elite and second-tier clubs a a monthly allowance of GHS1,500 while funding the participation of Ghanaian clubs in the CAF inter-club competitions.
But Asiamah, who has enjoyed a massive positive ratings since assuming office four years ago, has pooh-poohed the campaign promise from the biggest opposition party.
“John Mahama and his NDC were in government for 8 years. If he had anything better to offer why didn’t he do it within the period of his presidency? Hearts of Oak, Kotoko, AshantiGold and the rest have always been around. Why didn’t he [John Mahama] pay their players? Ask Medeama and find out what happened when they participated in CAF inter-club competition,” he said on Adom TV
He added: “In line of this I believe we all know how this government led by Nana Akufo-Addo has demonstrated great concern towards sports men and women in this country. 1000 athletes are currently being paid by the government. This shows how committed the government is to athletes in this country. The sports industry should reject him.” he added.
The ruling New Patriotic already pay for clubs who reach the group stage of the international clubs competitions by splashing $200,000 for those playing in the Isaac Asiamahwhile $150,000 goes to CAF Confederation Cup teams.
Ghanaian clubs have struggled on the continental stage recently as they struggle to retain their players because of the lure of playing for foreign clubs because of poor salaries on the local scene.
Clubs that also manage to qualify for Africa find it difficult raising money to pay for their travel expenses because of the expensive nature of travel within Africa.
This is the big effort by all the political parties in the country to woo football fans who also vote along the lines of governments seen to be sympathetic towards the cause of sports in the country.
The NDC, who are the leading opposition Party in the country, launched their manifesto two week ago in which they outlined the welfare packages for athletes, including footballers on the local scene.
According to the manifesto released, the Party will assist the Ghana Football Association to pay each player in the top-flight ₵1,500 a month to ensure the best players are retained in the country- a claim which now being challenged due to poor track record.