Details of the budgetary allocation for the national team’s upcoming assignments have been explained
Ghana Minister for Sports Mustapha Ussif has moved to clarify the Black Stars’ budget for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
The Government of Ghana has come under criticism for allocating an amount of $25 million for the two targets, with many questioning the nation’s priorities amid various financial challenges relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The allocation was disclosed by Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo during a meeting on Monday.
“Out of the $25 million, if we have to play in the Afcon, we have to prepare. And we need to play two friendly games. And besides that, the World Cup qualifiers that we have to play, we will not spend less than $700,000 on each match,” Ussif has told Citi TV.
“Then we are then going to participate in the Afcon and we have to play a series of matches, all the way to the final. So this is an expensive venture.
“We need to plan so we don’t have a repeat of what happened in Brazil when we don’t get money for the players, then they will refuse to pay and instead of focusing on delivery, everybody will now be on the Minister.”
Amid the outrage, there appears to have been some change to plans as Ussif has stated the $25 million mentioned is not solely for the Black Stars as mentioned by President Akufo-Addo.
“The budget we have done is not only for Black Stars. It is for all our national team activities from now till 2022,” the Minister explained.
“We have eight World Cup qualifiers, the Chan team will be playing qualifiers, the women’s team as well, and we have to participate at the Afcon, and if we qualify for the World Cup, we will participate there as well.
“We have U17, U20, U23 and the senior national teams and same for the women and all these teams have tournaments to play.”
Ghana have set sights on winning next year’s Afcon finals in Cameroon to end what will be an end to a 40-year drought. The nation has also targeted a return to the World Cup after missing out on the 2018 edition.