(Daniel Kenu, GNA Special Correspondent)
Lome, Feb. 21, GNA - The Ministry of Education and Sports has began deliberate attempts at bridging the gap between football and the other 26 sporting disciplines in the country in terms of facilities and remunerations.
It would therefore subsequently implement a new progressive bonus scale to all athletes in the four disciplines at the 15-29 March Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia, so as to equal what the Black Stars received as winning bonuses during the later stages of their World Cup campaign.
Mr O. B. Amoah, a Deputy Minister of Education and Sports told the silver and bronze winning medalists would take home 6,000 and 4,000 dollars respectively.
He said besides this, athletes who get to the finals would be entitled to an additional 2,000 dollars each an encouragement. Government has also approved more than 240, 000 dollars (249,341.99 cedis) to cater for pre-competition training, the competition proper, general kits and affiliation fees for the Ghanaian 59-man contingent - to be made up of 35 athletes and 24 officials. Ghana is expected to participate in athletics, boxing, table tennis and weight lifting.
Currently, some 137 athletes have converged at the Togolese capital Lome for a two-day national athletics championship, the first to be staged outside the country.
The Ghana Athletics Association was compelled to move the athletes to Lome for the trials because of the current renovation works at the Baba Yara and Ohene Djan Sports Stadia in Kumasi and Accra coupled with the fact that the national tartan tracks were out of use. The last time the running tracks were replaced was in 1978 when Ghana hosted the African Cup of Nations.
The Lome exercise is to select athletes for the August All African Games in Mauritius and other future competitions and not only for the Commonwealth Games as is being said.
An official of the GAA told the GNA Sports that five of the local athletes have already been penciled to beef-up the foreign legions for the Commonwealth Games.
"They could only be changed if they fail to impress at the two-day championship.