Members of the Black Satellites of Ghana, the FIFA Under 20 world conquerors, are to be the beneficiaries of an “everlasting” package from President John Evans Atta Mills today and later another handsome reward from Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo.
After the reward from the government, the team is to be airlifted to the Ivorian capital, Abidjan, to, in the words of President Gbagbo, be “appropriately rewarded”. The director of Communications at the Presidency, Mr. Koku Anyidoho, who disclosed government’s decision to reward the Satellites in a terse statement, stopped short of giving details of the package.
However, a highly placed source in government told Daily Graphic that the reward would include a brand new and exquisite vehicle, valued at about $20,000, for each member of the team, including the technical team, and a life-time investment for all of them. The Oko Nikoi Dzani Committee set up to receive donations for the Black Satellites will finish its work next week and come up with additional “long-term investment packages which will amply reward and secure the future of the players, their technical handlers and managers”.
It said the committee’s recommendation would also take into account the lives of ex-athletes, most of whom have been reduced to paupers after winning international accolades for the nation. It would be recalled that when receiving the FIFA Under 20 World Cup from the Satellites at the Castle, Osu, President Mills announced that the government would come up with a comprehensive package befitting the status of the players and their handlers.
President Gbagbo, who concluded a two-day official visit to the country yesterday, also used the occasion to express his personal admiration for the Black Satellites for winning the World Cup. He told journalists at the Castle, after bilateral talks with President Mills, that he would also “honour the satellites appropriately”.
He said he had decided to honor the Satellites because the victory they won was a victory for the entire African continent, for which every African felt duly proud. Mr Gbagbo asked the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to liaise with its Ivorian counterpart to enable the members of the team and their technical handlers to be airlifted to Cote d’Ivoire to receive what he described as “a mouth-watering package”. “Ghana possesses not only resources such as cocoa, gold, hydro-electricity and thriving democracy but it is also now showing its dominance in football at the global level. There is every reason for us all to support it,” he said.
Source: Daily Graphic
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