It has emerged that players of the Black Stars would buy their own tickets to honour the last group game of the 2017 AFCON qualifier with the Amavubi of Rwanda.
The decision by the players, according to insiders at the FA was to prove to Ghanaians they do not play for the Black Stars for monetary gains as purported by their critics but as a responsibility.
That stance has also been rejected outright in other quarters who feel it was in reaction to a campaign embarked upon by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lamptey Vanderpuye to get the FA to raise a locally based team to face the Rwandans in the qualifier whose outcome is insignificant.
Vanderpuye’s suggestion is intended to spend less on the qualifier following the financial quagmire the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) finds itself.
In a bid to save cost, the sector minister was reported to have suggested the usage of players from the local league for the qualifier.
Although the ministry was yet to officially write to the FA on the decision as of press time yesterday, the minister has repeated on several media platforms that the ministry was broke and would find it difficult to meet the huge financial demand for the game should the foreign based players be used.
On Accra based Happy FM’s Morning Sports Show yesterday, Mr. Vanderpuye made it clear the ministry was not in a position to find the amount needed for the qualifier.
“The ministry has no money to buy tickets for the foreign based players of the Black Stars to travel down to play the final AFCON 2017 qualifier against Rwanda on Saturday.”
“We do not have the financial strength to get the Black Stars players tickets to come and play the Rwanda game. If the FA has the money to pay for the players, they can do so.”
The sports minister is also reported to have gone a step further in demonstrating his seriousness about what is becoming a ‘war’ between the ministry and FA by ordering FA’s travel agents, Travel Matters not to issue ticket to any foreign-based Black Stars player because the ministry cannot pay.
But this has triggered some level of generosity from the players who are reported to have decided to buy their own tickets to honour the match.
FA spokesperson, yesterday hinted that Deputy Black Stars skipper, Andre Ayew has offered to pay for tickets of fellow players who cannot afford their own tickets to travel for the match.
The qualifier is scheduled for Saturday, September 3 at the Accra Sports Stadium.
By Andrew Nortey