Senior Vice President of policy think tank, Imani Africa, Kofi B Bentil, has questioned the rationale behind the promise of the opposition National Democratic Congress(NDC) to make funds available for the payment of footballers should it be elected into power in the forthcoming general elections of December 2020.
Mr Bentil argued that if the party can promise to pay footballers to merely play football, it should have no reason against paying members of staff of his private company. For him, the NDC must endeavour to elevate the dialogue.
The NDC has through its Communication Director, Sammy Gyamfi, promised to financially support clubs in the Premier League to pay footballers an average of GHC 1,500 monthly so as to revive the football league and make it more attractive to supporters and investors.
He stated that, “The NDC will establish a sports development fund. The government will furnish the account with enough money and also generate some from corporate bodies…Every club that plays in the Premier League will be supported with funds to settle player salaries. An average money of GH ¢1,500.00 will be paid to each player.”
Mr Gyamfi also stressed that the next NDC government will set up a Sports Development Fund, which will cater for government’s investments in sports.
But Mr Bentil has flagged the pledge, essentially wondering why government money should be used to pay workers of private firms given that league clubs are private entities.
“If you pay footballers to play football, there is no reason you should not pay the staff of my private company. #elevateTheDialogue,” he wrote in reaction to the promise on social media.
But Sammy Gyamfi has justified the pledge, explaining that the support will be a viable investment given the economic prospects of the sport and its influence in the country.
Award-winning sports journalist Saddick Adams has thrown his weight behind the pledge, revealing that clubs in Nigeria receive support from the Nigeria government.
The promise has however continued to split opinions among Ghanaians.