Ben Nunoo Mensah, the President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, has expressed agreement with the notion that all national teams, including football, athletics, and tennis, should be treated equally.
While acknowledging that football, particularly the senior national team, holds significant financial value and may deserve preferential treatment, Mr. Nunoo Mensah believes that differentiation in treatment should not be practiced among the national teams.
During a discussion on Rainbow Radio’s Frontline program regarding equal treatment for national teams, the host, Kwabena Agyapong, emphasized the importance of fair treatment for all teams.
The sports editor argued against equal treatment, a position supported by Andrews Kwabena, also known as K-GEE. However, Mr. Nunoo Mensah, who was listening to the discussion, called in to express his disagreement, stating that all national teams should receive equal treatment.
He pointed out that besides the national football team, there are numerous other national teams in various sports, including Judo, swimming, and weightlifting. Supporting Kwabena’s argument, he questioned why the national Judo team, which recently won a gold medal in a tournament, had to travel by bus while the senior national team, the Black Stars, traveled by plane.
He emphasized the need for equal treatment among all national teams and urged journalists and policymakers to base their claims on accurate facts.
Mr. Nunoo Mensah stressed that incorrect facts or weak presentation of the case would perpetuate disparities in the treatment of national teams. He acknowledged the passion for football in Ghana and the popularity brought by the Black Stars, suggesting that their requests should be accommodated to maintain the nation’s football prestige.
However, he pointed out that while the Black Stars may require a significant budget, other teams like the maidens or Meteos may only require a fraction of that amount, such as a thousand or twenty thousand. Yet, they often do not receive the necessary funding while the Black Stars do.
He called for comprehensive understanding of the facts so that policymakers can design policies that support the development of all talented Ghanaian youth, ensuring they have the opportunity to achieve great success for themselves and the nation.
Mr. Nunoo Mensah highlighted the difficulties faced by other national teams in receiving per diems and winning bonuses, stressing the need to address these issues and provide necessary support for children involved in boxing, judo, and other sports. He emphasized that these athletes are just as important as the players representing the Black Stars.
“He said that in the light of saying the senior team is our cash cow and so they should give some level of treatment, I agree with them, but in the light that they should not be treated equally, I disagree with them”
“Our national football team is not the only one we have. There are numerous other national teams. We have a national Judo team, a national swimming team, and a national weightlifting team. That is why I agree with your [Kwabena] argument. Why should our national Judo team, which recently won gold in a tournament, travel by bus? The other national teams travel by bus, while the senior national team, the Black Stars, travels by plane.”
”That is not ideal, and it is for this reason that I have argued that all of our teams must be treated equally.”
“As a result, he has urged journalists and policymakers to use accurate facts when making such claims.”
”If those who can influence policy decisions and journalists get their facts wrong, or if we don’t present our case well, the disparity in treatment of our national teams will persist. That is why I called to inform you that it is not just about the Black Stars. Yes, we know football is our passion. The Black Stars have also given us some popularity, so whatever they want, let us give it to them so that they can maintain that pedigree for the nation.”
“However, when the Black Stars require a million, the maidens or Meteors may require only a thousand, or the Judo team or the weight lighting teams may require only twenty thousand, yet they do not receive the required amount when the Black Stars receive what they require.”
”We need all of our facts so that when policymakers are listening, they will structure their policies so that every Ghanaian youth with talent is nurtured so that they can achieve greater rewards for themselves and the nation,” he said. In most cases, the per diem for the other national teams is difficult to come by, let alone their winning bonuses. We must address these issues so that our children who participate in boxing, judo, and other sports receive the necessary support. They are just as important as the players for the Black Stars”.