Accra, March 23, GNA - Ghana will need about four million dollars to prepare the senior national team, the Black Stars for the 2006 World Cup slated for Germany in June. The amount will cover cost of camping, training allowances, bonuses, pre tournament friendly matches and airfares among others, according to a budget prepared by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) submitted to the Ministry of Education and Sports. The Black Stars, considered as sleeping giants of Africa football, will be making a maiden and historic appearance at the World Cup this year.
Goldfields Ghana Limited, headline sponsors of the Black Stars is shouldering one-third of the budget of about one million cedis. The miners, since 2005 have been the official sponsors of the Black Stars having signed a record sponsorship agreement of three million dollars with the GFA. According to the contract signed with the GFA, the miners are to dole out one million cedis per annum to the team.
Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports who made the disclosure said the amount is the conservative estimate required by the Stars for their effective preparations. He told the GNA Sports that the package from the miners is not adequate to meet the team's preparations since part of it has already been exhausted on the team. According to the minister, "we need to generate resources towards our preparation, training and camping programme to enable us put up a fantastic performance and celebrate our appearance at the World Cup stage".
Mr Amoah said Ghana's qualification to the World Cup is an opportunity to market the nation to promote the abilities and strength of the nation as well as attract investors and tourists. He said this will contribute to the nation's growth economically, socially and politically. Mr Amoah commended the Continental Commodity Trading Company (CCTC) for coming to the aid of the team with a donation of 1.5 billion cedis. "Ghana is indeed grateful for this patriotic gesture, because it represents the single sponsorship from an indigenous food importer and shows the company's abiding faith to the team". He said the company's gesture is the beginning of fruitful relationship between CCTC and the Black Stars as Ghana gears up to host the Nations Cup in 2008.