Ghana News – Government has begun disbursing a 750,000 dollar package to Ghana’s Under-20 soccer team, the Black Satellites and its management team for their brilliant victory at the FIFA U-20 World Cup soccer tournament in Egypt last month. President John Evans Atta Mills on Thursday as a first step to fulfilling the package presented 30 Toyota saloon cars to the team at a short ceremony at the Osu Castle in Accra.
Two of the 30 cars with a capacity of 1.8 litre would go to the head coach, Sellas Tetteh and Chairman of the Management of the team. The remaining 28 of the cars with capacity of 1.6 litre would go to the players.
As part of the package Government has secured a Life Policy and bond, which at 10 years maturity would fetch each player GHC 170,000.
Each member of the management team would also receive cash amount of 5000 dollars.
President Mills in making the presentation said he was aware of heavy criticism against him and government from a section of Ghanaians for not instantly announcing a package when the Satellites presented the trophy to him at the Castle on their return from Egypt.
He said, however, with his past experience as Chairman of the National Sports Council and Chairman of the Black Stars Management Team, he decided to give a lasting award that would represent a new way forward in the right direction for the Satellites.
A seven-member committee was formed, headed by Mr Oko Nikoi Djanie, a sports enthusiast and head of the National Hockey Association, was consequently formed with Prof. Francis Doudo, Head of the Ghana Olympics Committee and Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, President of the Ghana Football Association as some of the members, and charged them to collect donations from private people and other corporate bodies and other institutions and come out with modalities for disbursement.
President Mills said members of the Committee were not paid any allowances and therefore thanked them for taking their work seriously and coming out with recommendations that would be long lasting and “in the end bring honour to the Black Stars.”
The President explained that the move to form the Committee was also to ensure accountability, adding that Government would never interfere in the management of sports but would collaborate with stakeholders to ensure honesty, transparency and accountability.
Mr Djanie said the Committee had opened a special account for the donations for the Satellites with the name Satellites Special Account at the Ghana Commercial Bank, the Agricultural Development Bank and the Merchant Bank.
He said the account in addition to a special hotline with the various mobile phone companies has been evolved for donations, under which 70 per cent of the amount will go to the Satellites and 30 to the companies.
The Satellite account would run till the end of November this year, he added. Mr Nyantakyi in a vote of thanks expressed appreciation to the President for giving the Satellites a “motivational package” and urged other teams to aspire for the laurels and national honours.
He also expressed appreciation to God for his blessing, the press and the general public for their unflinching support, which he noted added up to the splendid performance of the Satellites to ensure the victory. 04 Nov. 09