Sports Management Professional, Former Managing Director of Hearts of Oak, Neil Armstrong-Mortagbe, has opined that the Black Stars deserve to request and be paid appearance fees and bonuses for representing Ghana at various world tournaments.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the eSports Summit hosted by e.tv Ghana, he argues players who have over the years represented the country at various stages deserve to be motivated financially beyond the intrinsic motivation, “pride”.
“Playing for the Black Stars has been driven by pride and is still is a motivation I believe in and the players here will attest to that fact. But if you listen to the lamentation of past National Team players, you realize that apart from that intrinsic motivation there need to be something tangible in figures. You can’t reward to the highest extent but at least something that says we appreciate the sacrifices you make for the national teams and I may speak for both the Black Stars and other national football or sports people,” he shared.
“So everybody makes a sacrifice. The question now is how do we reward or honour that sacrifice. Do we have the resources to honour these sacrifices? Is it a bottomless pit or it’s a finite quantity of money?” he puzzled.
However, he quizzed the sustainability potential of the bonus structure spent so far on the Black Stars. He charged the need for a sustainability plan to establish and enable sports personnel to live a viable livelihood after spending years on the field.
“So money has a role to play as much as intrinsic motivation also has a role to play. But if you listen to our former national team players especially those who were not part of let’s call it the post 2005 era. Their lives are not at the levels where you expect people who have sweated and bled for this nation should be. It’s pathetic and recently, we said goodbye to Abu Morro and you can mention so many examples. There are those who say they didn’t live their lives well and yeah you can be judgmental but we all have our faults. There’s no nets that takes care of them. That is why the case for this bonus I always say there’s a case,” he argued.
Neil furthered, “Beyond making that case is what next we could do apart from giving the bonuses what else could we do for our sports people. How do they manage their lives after the days playing because that for me is here the challenge falls. We need to put some of these resources in place to help them with sustainable livelihood after playing and indulging in the sports rather than put the money in the pocket and they can use it for anything. They will chill, buy cars and probably crash it and become paupers.”
To explore the issue of “Financing the National Team; The Bonus and Appearance Fee Structure and its Sustainability,” industry professionals, stakeholders, and civil society organisations gathered for the first e.tv Ghana e-Sports Summit.
Panelists Fred Pappoe, Moses Foh-Amoaning, and ex-Black Stars star Agyemang-Badu all contributed insightful viewpoints that can affect national policy.
A variety of individuals with power over sports policy were also there, including the Ghana Supporters Union, well-known sports journalists, and a large number of others.
By: Jude Tackie