To write or not to write? Black Queens are somewhere in the Tunisian capital of Tunis training for the final round of the 2016 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifier against Tunisia on Wednesday. The ladies will then play the return on Friday.
Before their departure another bonus row occurred, which isn’t new to us; gradually becoming synonymous to our national teams? You can be the best judge. The ladies had threatened to boycott the qualifier against Tunisia over unpaid bonuses. The Black Queens are owed a sum of $28,000 each for qualifiers for All Africa games and matches played at the quadrennial event. The ladies who eventually won gold were handed $5000 dollars after a dirty tussle with the Sports Ministry and the timely intervention by His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama. They were promised their arrears which were slashed from 28,000 to 12,000 dollars will be settled. This agreement was made in September and up to date the Black Queens are yet to be paid.
It’s an open secret that Women’s football will always play second fiddle to the Men’s. Should the women who dare to wear the national jersey be treated horribly? Quite frankly, No! The ladies when in camp on Ghanaian soil are handed a paltry weekly wage of 30 cedis. I’m reliably informed it’s even a hassle to get that money. These camp schedules can take over a month or two we are talking about 280 cedis in this modern day Ghana. It’s quite worrying for the footballers that do not make the cut to travel abroad and earn the few dollars for their trip.
The Africa Cup of Nations women season beckons once again, slated for Cameroon in November, by virtue of Ghana being the 3rd best ranked team the ladies are favourites against Tunisia. However, with all these problems they encounter and the internal squabbles can they deliver and book a slot? The motivation is low, but I have the faith the Black Queens can qualify. However with the little resources and below the par treatment I wonder if we can dare say they should win their Africa Women’s Cup of Nations. After all, their last title didn’t gather much momentum. The Black Queens are yet to meet the First Gentleman of this land to show off their historic feat but that’s another story for another day.
I’m not advocating for equality because that’s a utopia and campaign that will take centuries to attain in this country. I’m just stating the ladies should be treated well in order to make women’s football attractive. The current level is a sorry state.
By: Akosua Addai Amoo