Accra, June 2, GNA - The President, John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday announced a 50 percent increase in the winning bonus for players of the senior national team, Black Stars for their World Cup qualifying matches.
President Kufuor announced when he visited the team at the Accra Sports Stadium during the half time of their friendly football match against AshantiGold.
The President revealed that the new wining bonus for both the Africa and World Cup qualifying matches would now be 3000.00 dollars. He further announced additional changes in camping allowance from the hitherto 500,000.00 cedis a week to 50 dollars a day whilst their per diem for matches during travels outside the country has also been increased from 40 dollars a day to 100 dollars.
President Kufuor told the players that the new increase is part of a new contract between the people of Ghana and the team as a motivating factor and it is now left to them to fulfil their end of the deal by qualifying for the World Cup.
He said qualifying for the World Cup is not beyond their reach as they posses what it takes to be the very best on the continent. "What is left is for you to come together as a team and work hard for each other and win as a team since Ghana is endowed with some of the most gifted players on the continent.
"We have sunk so low and it is time for us to rise up and take our rightful place among the best on the continent and the world at large. "All that we need is for all of you, both the administrators and the players to pull your acts together in the interest of the nation which comes first before anything else".
President Kufuor said he was aware that conditions presently are not the best but his administration is working hard to improve upon the present situation to ensure that they feel very comfortable to enable them give off their best.
He pledged his support to the coach and asked him to work hard to bring the best out of the players to play as a team.
The President told the players that Ghanaians would be expecting nothing but victory on Saturday and that they should not let them down. Stephen Appiah, skipper of the team thanked the President and assured him that they would not fail the nation this time around and gave the assurance that they would surely qualify for the World Cup.
Ghana would play the Stallions of Burkina Faso in the opening qualifying match of the 2006 World Cup on Saturday in Ouagadougou. 2 June 04