Black Stars rewarded

President John Mahama and Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur in a group photograph with the Black Star Players and handlers at the Flagstaff HouseIN appreciation of the sterling performance put up by the Black Stars, each player has been rewarded with 25,000 dollars.

President John Dramani Mahama has announced said that the GNPC, headline sponsors of the Stars, have decided to reward players.

The President also signaled that other corporate sponsors plan to reward the Black Staffs ‘handsomely’ for a good showing at the tournament.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting in honour of the Stars at the Flagstaff House Banquet Hall in Accra yesterday, President Mahama stressed that the confidence in the Stars had been restored, as “they have redeemed themselves in the eyes of Ghanaians.”

The breakfast meeting was attended by the Vice-President, Kwesi Amissah Arthur, the Chief of Staff, Prosper Bani, Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hanna Tetteh as well as the management committee of the Black Stars and GFA officials.

President Mahama showered praises on the Black Stars for having ‘redeemed themselves’ at the African Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea, after a lackluster performance at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

He observed that in view of their record in the recent past, nobody had great expectations from them at the just-ended tournament but the Black Stars improved from match to match and came out the best team in the tournament, considering the array of awards they received.

President Mahama commended Coach Avram Grant for discharging himself creditably, having taken over at a short notice prior to the tourney but managed to transform the team. He, therefore, predicted a great future for the team.

“He took over the team six weeks to the AFCON but we can already see the transformation in the team in terms of the morale of the players, in terms of the discipline that has come back to the camp, and I believe that Mr. Grant and his technical team have done a good job and we have confidence in him.

Take this team and groom it and build it so that the next African Cup of Nations and the World Cup, I am sure that it will be a different story..,” he said.

President Mahama observed that following the events of Brazil 2014, there was a slightly bitter taste in the mouth of Ghanaians, who had then lost hope and confidence in the Stars, and therefore, did not give them a dog’s chance at the Nation’s Cup tourney.

“But they say that the stone that the builders refused shall become the head corner stone and that is exactly what our Black Stars displayed…and I said that at a time that we have lost all hope in them, that is when they are going to prove to us that they are still the team to bet on,” he said.

“You did us proud and all of us are happy, and I think that the confidence in the Stars has been restored,” Mr. Mahama stressed.

President Mahama noted that except for the Africa Cup, Ghana swept most of the awards at the tournament -best player, best goal scored, top scorer, fair play trophy.

He asked other corporate entities desirous of showing their appreciation to the Stars for their performance to contact the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

In his remarks, Vice-President Amissah Arthur stated that in their loss, the Black Stars had stood like giants and expressed appreciation to the players, the technical team and the supporters for the efforts they put in at the tournament.

By Samuel Nuamah

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