THE CAPTAIN of the female national under-20 team, the Black Princess, Abdul Rahman Rashida has petitioned President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo to clear their 2016 qualification arrears owed them.
The two-page letter copied to the President, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Isaac Asiamah and the President of the Ghana Football Association, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi and signed by the captain, said the team had been neglected.
Below is the full unedited letter;
Representing the national team and playing football under the watchful lenses of the global football fraternity remains the pinnacle of any footballer’s dream. The world wide platform offered these footballers most at times pave way for further progress on the career of these lucky footballers.
As a sport with short life span though, footballers are usually subjected to unpredictable future in the event of an unexpected injury or tactical variations from the technical bench.
As a country blessed with refined footballers on either gender, Ghana certainly cannot complain of shortage of talent on the field of play. The managerial aspect of the game however remains the lowest point this country can ever sink. Speeches and motivational comments are part of football and must be given to footballers in trying times.
The current state of female football in Ghana is a clear testimony of sharp rise in stature with all the female national teams flourishing at a fast pace. The usual syndrome of no money has however marred the tangential rise in fortunes of this game. As a unit or a group of players left neglected by the entire football caucus as a whole, we write to draw the attention of all stakeholders on the current state of affairs facing the Black Princess.
Can you imagine owing a footballer for almost two calendar years and not even trying to explain to the players why their monies are not been paid? What was our crime for qualifying Ghana to the 2016 FIFA World Cup? Will same treatment have been meted out to our colleagues on the masculine side? Why are we treated as if we are refugees in our homeland?
The Black Princess has seen a lot of improvement in recent times with series of impressive performances in the qualifiers and the World Cup at large. A meager winning bonus of $2,000 dollars was enough to motivate us into winning five of six qualifiers during the 2016 edition of the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup staged in Papua New Guinea.
The pledge or if you like promise was to be given $2,000 for winning a game in the qualifier, a principle we all agreed before the qualification kicked off. As a group of players seeking for global exposure, national fame and patriot enough to fight and bleed for the nation, we gallantly fought and booked a ticket for Ghana. Papua New Guinea here comes Ghana with some demolition exercise in the qualification process.
With or without money, we fought and toiled across the continent to seal qualification for Ghana at the expense of other chasing pack. Where did we go wrong by booking a place for Ghana on the global podium? Why must we ‘bark’ before we are given our legitimate return?
To imagine the Sports Ministry, The Ghana Football Association, Our Managerial leaders, The Media and all stakeholders are leaving to our own faith is beyond imagination. The qualification positively affected all the hemispheres of the game. Why are they silent now?
As a group of players playing football at various club level both home and abroad, the sole objective of writing this release is not because we are broke but to let the right things be done so as to avoid such future recurrence. Why are we not been communicated to? Who is to lead the crusade for us? Must we ‘fight’ before we are heard? If that is the case then the good Lord is our witness.
Playing a total of six qualifiers, we eliminated Senegal and Equatorial Guinea before holding off Ethiopia to book a place for Ghana in Papua New Guinea. Of the six matches, we won five and drew one. For records and evidence purpose, we didn’t actually qualified in style by scoring 17 goals in the six games played. We actually conceded 2 goals and recorded an impressive 5 clean sheets in 6 matches.
The government through the Sports Ministry and the GFA paid our bonuses for the Senegal tie but has since remained silent almost two years after the matches. What is happening to the other two ties? Were they not part of the qualifiers? Could Ghana have qualified with only the Senegal match?
Having been paid $4,000 from the expected $12,000, we write to plead with the government through the Sports Ministry and the Ghana Football Association to pay us our remaining $8000. We write to remind the entire football family to rally behind us in our bid to reclaim our legitimate arrears, two years after the qualifiers.
We might not have the power to take this case beyond this approach but this template for other young coming footballers might mar the positive rise in stature of the game, not least the viral no money syndrome. Hear the cry of a neglected footballer. Come to the rescue of these patriotic Princesses. Mother Ghana can do better than just neglecting her heroines with utter delight.
Abdul Rahman Rashida
His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo
Flag Staff House
The Sports Ministry
Honourable Isaac Asiamah
Ghana Football Association