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FEATURE: Empowering our coaches to institutionalize bribery – The silent call of the Sports Ministry

Published on: 31 July 2017
FEATURE: Empowering our coaches to institutionalize bribery – The silent call of the Sports Ministry
Minister of Youth and Sports Isaac Asiamah

Time without number, we have accused the Ghanaian coach of being corrupt, taking bribes from players to hand them national team call ups or guaranteeing them playing time. The canker had gone deep to an extent that, until recently, foreign coaches were always preferred to our local breed with the perception of taking bribe playing a key role. But is it the case? Do Ghanaian coaches take bribes? If they do, what motivates them to take bribes from their players? Are we sure of getting the right results, either at national team level of club level, with bribery all over the place? Are we not in one way of the other institutionalizing the canker among our local coaches?

I have not seen any coach taking bribe and I have also not given bribe before but the phenomenon exists and it’s getting reinforced every passing day by the actions of the Sports Ministry and the GFA. Perhaps the FA can find an escape route when it comes to being blamed for the terrible development of coaches taking bribes since the national teams are now under government care.

With emphasis on national teams, selection into the various national teams becomes a reserve of the rich if the development is eventually true.

With reports that Paa Kwasi Fabin is owed in arrears of salaries for close to a year, Didi Dramani - same, Yusif Basigi is owed two years’ salary arrears and same as Evans Addotey. Maybe these coaches' dilemma could be better than the technical staff of the Black Meteors, Malik Jabir, Karim Zito and co. - they have not been paid since they took the team to the 2015 All Africa Games. Are we not enforcing them to take bribes?

I know for a fact that all the national team coaches, but for the Black Stars A, were paid $3000 monthly with their assistants taking $1000. What has happened to that arrangement? If government is the owner of the national teams, then due diligence must be done. the coaches must be paid and subsequently treated well to avoid accelerating bribery.

Imagine a coach who has been handling a national team for two years or close and has not been paid all this while, what does he survive on? Especially in a country like ours where the standard of living keeps going up, what alternative strategy can the coaches use to generate money to take care of their families? Are we not enforcing them to take bribes?

Let’s be realistic and face facts; do you think any of the coaches will reject $10k from a player who is yearning to play for any of the national teams?

Don’t you think the coaches themselves will even demand for money from the players with the promise of inviting them or giving them playing time? They must survive and must be responsible when it comes to managing their families but if the salaries are not paid, with some accumulating for two years, what option do the coaches have? I’m not saying they should take bribes, but tell me the option you think they can take up?

The lackadaisical attitude of the Sports Ministry in paying these coaches and the lack of reverence attached to it is indirectly institutionalizing the bribery claims and very soon, coaches will no longer hide demanding monies from players if they have already been doing so secretly.

The Sports Ministry took over the payment of national team coaches, after the Black Stars embarrassing show in Brazil that was followed by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, with claims that government owns the national teams. Since then, the financial challenges of all the national teams including the Black Stars have been on the rise.

As of now, the Black Queens are owed $12k in arrears of bonuses, the Black Maidens and Princesses are owed bonuses after the World Cup experiences in Jordan and Papua New Guinea respectively, including their technical staff.

The Black Stars are still yet to receive their winning bonus after their 5-0 win over Ethiopia in the 2019 AFCON qualifier and the technical staff are yet to be paid their signing-on fees and salaries for 3 months, the Black Stars B live on kenkey and pepper to stay in camp in Prampram and the U17 side are still owed some bonuses as they prepare for the World Cup in India. THINGS FALL APART!

Things are simply not being done right. It’s sad.

A time is fast approaching when only the rich can play for our national teams. No money, no play. let the Sports Ministry be responsible!

By: Sheikh Tophic Sienu @desheikh1 on twitter

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