Accra, Oct. 10, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor has announced the decision by the Government to give each player of the Senior National Team, the Black Stars, 10,000 US dollars for Ghana's qualification to play in football's prestigious World Cup tournament in Germany next year. This is, in addition, to the normal 8,000 dollars winning bonus already paid to them after the team's emphatic 4-0 defeat of Cape Verde last Saturday in Praia.
President Kufuor, who, announced the decision when he hosted the Black Stars at the Castle Gardens on Friday also presented two fattened cows and 50 cartons of assorted soft drinks to the team. The package was in fulfilment of the promise he made that there would be cause to be thankful to them, if they should secure the country a ticket to Germany 2006.
President Kufuor said he was overjoyed and expressed the nation's heartfelt gratitude for what he described as "great work done". He promised that everything would be done to ensure that the Stars did not lack in anything by way of materials and logistics to enhance the players self-confidence and finesse so as to be able to match countries like Brazil and others boot for boot. Ghana, he said, was always a pacesetter in Africa and was hopeful that the Stars would not only lift up the flag of Ghana in Germany but Africa. He said, he had no doubt that the national team would make a big impact to make the rest of the world acknowledge that Africa was in the mainstream of globalisation as far as soccer goes.
President Kufuor recognised the huge sponsorship of the Stars by Goldfields and Guinness Ghana Limited and asked all, including the business community to rally to the team's support. Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo, Minister of Education Youth and Sports, said, what made the Stars performance remarkable was the fact that it was the team to have conceded the least goals in the qualifying series throughout the world. They let in only four goals, an indication of its strong defence, he said, adding, "we would make a difference in Germany."
The Stars Captain, Stephen Appiah, thanked the nation for the prayers and support and gave the assurance that they would not just be participating in the tournament but certainly would come with glory. Among those present was the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama. Togo, Cote d' Ivoire, Angola and Tunisia, are the other African countries that would also be playing in Germany 2006.