An unprecedented 8 million dollars ($15 million) has been requested by the Ghana Football Associaition for preparations towards ending the country’s trophy drought at the next African Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Citi FM Sports revealed after the tournament draw that the proposals were expected a week after, but a few delays ensured that the amounts have now been finalized by the FA’s committees.
The tournament proper takes place from January 19 to February 20, and the Ghana FA wants $6.66 million to help in the trophy charge. Before then, Team Ghana have a scheduled pre-tournament camping in Abu Dhab from January 7-18, which will cost $1.06 million.
According to the project proposal sent to the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the sums will cover the expenses for a 25-man contingent to the Abu Dhabi camping, which will rise to 50 for the tournament itself.
The budget also includes $100,000 each for two friendly matches, even though it is known that guest teams typically do not pay appearance fees.
All expenses include winning bonuses and per diem allowances, including $150 to be paid to each official every day while players will get $100 a day. The news already in the public domain is that the winning bonuses for players and officials have been increased by 50 percent – from what they got during AFCON 2012 – to a new high of $15,000.
The Ghana FA’s boss has defended the earnings. “Monies that sportsmen especially footballers earn falls outside a country’s payment scheme. Footballers earn more than Presidents so it will be wrong on anyone’s part to draw such a comparison.”
Nyantakyi was at pains to say that there were no funny dealings going on, and that the increase is consistent and traceable. “In 2008 when we hosted the Nations Cup, we were paying $10,000. That figure has seen little increments over subsequent tournaments so it is not as if we are making sharp increment.”
Each player and official is expected to receive $17,500 at the quarter-final stage, $20,000 each at the semis, $22,000 each for a third-place playoff and $25,000 each should they reach the grand final in South Africa.
Once again, the contentious issue of money for “media relations” rears its head, with $70,000 earmarked for the effort. After the 2010 World Cup, also in South Africa, there was a huge public outcry after it emerged that $50,000 had gone unaccounted for after being earmarked for ‘media relations’.
The AFCON 2013 budget the Ghana FA has presented also includes $15,000 for laundry services, with the same amount quoted for the Abu Dhabi tour as well. There will be a $200,000 provision for unspecified protocol and $100,000 for scouting. As well, there will be $5,000 for entertainment, suspected to be for the team’s chief drummer, Joseph Langabell.