Handball players reject national call-up

GrldA NUMBER of players of the national handball team, the Black Fingers, have rejected invitation from the Handball Association of Ghana (HAG) to the national team as Ghana prepares for qualifiers towards the All African Games to be held in Congo Brazzaville this year.

The decline followed unpaid bonuses and allowances of the players that participated and won gold in the 2012 ECOWAS Games hosted in Ghana.

Three years on, all efforts by the playing body including boycotts at certain times have failed to convince authorities to effect payment to the players who now believes this latest action will attract government’s attention to get their money.

This has no doubt hampered the team’s training schedule, according to the head coach of the team, George Bankole who pleaded with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to expedite action on the matter to have full house training.

When the team assembled at the Accra Sports Stadium courts on Thursday, a little above 20 reported out of the 40 invited, a situation Bankole lamented, considering the strength of opponents Ghana is billed to battle against for slot to the quadrennial continental multi sports festival.

Ghana will slug it out with the likes of Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Benin Togo and Niger in a tough Zone III which is expected to produce one male team and two female teams.

The Black Fingers would commence the qualifiers with an away tie with West African neighbours, Niger, in April.

“This is the more reason why we are concerned as a technical team. The attitude is not the best but one cannot also blame the players because they were promised those bonuses so if they are able to win, the authorities must fulfill their part of the bargain. Having some of the senior and experienced players missing training will only spell doom for us and dent our chances of qualification for the All Africa Games.”

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