By Ameenu Shardow
Ex Ghana Sports Minister Yaw Osarfo-Marfo says efforts should be made to secure sponsorship to foot the enormous bill of the Black Stars.
There have been a lot of public uproar following the revelation of a staggering proposed budget of an over $7.7m for Ghanaâ€™s campaign at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The proposed budget includes a $15,000 winning bonus package â€“ a $2,500 increment from the amount paid for winning a match at the 2012 edition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
This has seen many Ghanaians who believe the figures are exorbitant agitate for the budgetâ€™s immediate cancellation.
But the former Sports Minister who presided over the sharp increment of bonuses paid to Black Stars players in 2005, says authorities should focus on raising the mo0nies required through sponsorship rather than expecting government to foot the bills.
â€œIt was during our time that we introduced the winning bonus of $10,000 and this did not come from governmentâ€™s budgetary allocation,â€ he told Kumasi-based Angel FM.
â€œWe got sponsorship from Goldfields and other corporate bodies where they were furnished with the budget of the Black Stars.
â€œWe made them understand that football was one thing on the hearts of many Ghanaians and thus the need for them to come on board to help.
â€œAnd they did. That is how we got the money to foot the Black Starsâ€™ bills.â€
â€œFor me, it is not a case whether it is too much or not. Certainly after some years the players should see an increment in their bonuses.
â€œRather we should be focusing on getting the required financial support to foot this bill rather than to debate the increase.
â€œI can tell you there are a lot of corporate bodies in Ghana who are capable of footing this bill with no problems at all. So that should be the focus.â€
The budget also makes provision for a training camp in Abu Dhabi ahead of the tournament that kicks off in South Africa on January 19.
Ghana is drawn in Group B alongside Mali, Niger and DR Congo and will play its first match against the Congolese on January 20 in Port Elizabeth.