As part of efforts to put to rest issues concerning the funding of the Black Stars, the Sports Minister, Edward Nii Lantey Vanderpuye has said that arrangements are far advanced to franchise the matches of the senior national football team.
Funding of the Black Stars had become a major concern for Ghanaians, amidst the rumpus between the Sports Minister and the Ghana Football Association (GFA). Player bonuses in qualifying and friendly matches, as well as appearance fees, have brought tension between Nii Lantey Vanderpuye and the FA, which most Ghanaian football fans and stakeholders are not happy about.
In an interview, Nii Lantey disclosed to the GNA sports that arrangements to fund the national team from other sources are far advanced to ease the pressure on funding from the national consolidated fund. “We are having discussions with the Ministry of Finance on finding other sources of funding sports apart from the national kitty. “We have good news from the Ministry to prospective financiers and also sponsors of sports. The Ministry of Finance is ready to give tax incentives for sponsors of sports”. “One of the areas we are looking forward to is the franchising of Black Stars matches, so that whoever gives us that amount of money, which can take care of the budget of the team, then the person will have the right. “We are still negotiating…we can give to the sponsor the number of matches the team would play and how much it will cost…if the sponsor is ready to give that amount of money, then fine. “Then we will give the Black Stars to the sponsor to take care of advertising, broadcasting and everything. Whatever the sponsor gets out of it is theirs, “he added. According to Nii Lantey, it will be on contractual basis for a period and the number of matches for the period would be given to interested sponsors and the budget.
The Minister said the GFA does not need to give its consent before the franchising could take effect. “The FA doesn’t fund national teams, the Ministry and Government does…so whatever means and sources are used to get the appropriate funding for the team, the GFA does not have the power to say no. When the Minister was asked whether the action will not deepen the friction between the FA and the Ministry, he answered in the negative. Issues concerning bonuses for the Black Stars had been a problem any time there is a national assignment, which has marred the stars performances in recent times with most Ghanaians turning their back on the national in recent matches.
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