Former Ghanaian international Nii Odartey Lamptey has advised the nation’s male senior national team [Black Stars] to have the nation at heart first whenever they represent the country at a tournament.
Odartey who captained the Black Stars team during his playing days speaking on Kumasi based Abusua FM emphasized that money shouldn’t be the only motivational factor for the Stars to win Ghana its fifth African trophy.
He was reacting to issues of the Black Stars bonus which has triggered a sour relationship between the outgoing sports minister Nii Lante Vanderpuije and the Ghana Football Association [GFA] where he stated though players of the Black Stars team should be handed the needed support both financially and spiritually, the players must first think about the good people of Ghana who are yet to see a trophy for almost thirty Five [35 ] years.
The Black Stars before their departure to Dubai for a 13 days residential camping met a delegation from the President -elect Akufo Addo where they pleaded to Nana Addo to restore their winning bonus to $10,000 after Nii Lante slashed $2,000 from the initial $10,000 which was paid to them after winning a match for the country.
The former Aston Villa capped 38 appearances for Ghana with 8 goals between the period of 1991- 1996 indicated that it is about a time Ghanaians forgave the Black Stars in spite of their 2014 world Cup debacle and rally massively behind them in their bid to win the AFCON 2017 Nations Cup trophy slated for Gabon.
He believes the Black Stars can only accomplish their target if given an unalloyed support from all and sundry football lovers in the country as the team prepares to outcast their Group D opponents to ensure they are emerged champions having failed to clinch the previous edition held in Equatorial Guinea.
”I think the state should do want I needed for the players to ensure they perform so well in the AFCON but that doesn’t mean the players should demand outrageous bonuses considering the current state of the economy” said Nii Odartey Lamptey.
He stressed: ”I have always said that money shouldn’t be the only source of motivation for the Black Stars team but wearing the National colours should as be a major source of motivation. If you ask those former players who won the 1963,1965,1978 and the 1982 trophy how much did they receive, absolutely nothing yet they work assiduously to hoist the flag of Ghana higher to the entire world”.
He concluded by saying ”The Black Stars have come close to winning the trophy since 2010 but unfortunately they have failed to do so and I think should be a guide now for the team to end our 35 years trophy drought.”
Ghana is drawn alongside Mali, Uganda and seven time champions Egypt.