Black Queens threaten to boycott Zambia game due to unpaid bonuses

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Black Queens threaten to boycott Zambia game due to unpaid bonuses

The Black Queens, Ghana’s esteemed women’s national football team, find themselves at a critical juncture as they prepare for a pivotal Olympic qualifier against Zambia. However, their preparations are marred by an issue that strikes at the heart of player welfare – outstanding bonuses that have yet to be settled.

The players are owed qualification bonuses from two rounds of qualifying – the 2024 Olympic Qualifiers and the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers. These bonuses are a crucial part of the players’ compensation for their hard work, dedication, and the victories they’ve secured on behalf of their nation.

Specifically, the Black Queens are awaiting payment for their triumphs over Benin in the Olympic Qualifier, as well as victories against Rwanda and Namibia in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations Qualifiers. Each player is owed a total of $7,500 from these six qualifying matches, a significant sum that reflects their contributions to the team’s success.

The delay in disbursing these bonuses has understandably left the players frustrated and disheartened. Despite assurances from the Ghana Football Association (GFA) regarding the timely payment of bonuses, the players have yet to see these promises materialize, just two days before their crucial match against Zambia.

Amidst growing discontent among the players, there have been discussions of a potential boycott of the upcoming qualifier against Zambia if the payment issue is not promptly addressed. Such a decision would have significant implications not only for the team but for Ghanaian football as a whole.

Dr. Gifty Oware Mensah, a member of the Ghana Football Association Executive Committee, sought to allay concerns during the GFA Meet the Press event in Kumasi on Wednesday, February 7, 2024. She reassured the public that steps were being taken to resolve the payment issues, affirming that the Black Queens would receive all outstanding bonuses before their next game, specifically referring to the Olympic qualifier against Zambia. However, with the match looming, the players remain in limbo, still awaiting the much-needed funds.

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The delay in payment has sparked outrage and condemnation from various quarters, with many questioning the priorities of the authorities. Critics have pointed to the contrasting scenario where significant sums were allocated to the men’s national team, the Black Stars, despite their lackluster performance at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast, where they failed to secure a single victory.

The frustration felt by the Black Queens and their supporters is exacerbated by the team’s stellar performance under the guidance of Swiss tactician Nora Hauptle. With just one defeat in their last 11 matches, the Black Queens have showcased their talent and resilience on the field, bringing pride to the nation and raising hopes for future success.

In light of these achievements, there is a growing consensus that the football authorities must demonstrate greater respect and appreciation for the women’s team. The success of the Black Queens deserves recognition and support commensurate with their contributions to Ghanaian football.

The situation underscores broader issues of gender equality and fairness in sports. Female athletes often face disparities in funding, resources, and recognition compared to their male counterparts, despite their equal dedication and talent. The plight of the Black Queens serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by women in sports and the urgent need for systemic change.

As discussions continue to address the payment issues, there is a collective hope that a resolution can be reached swiftly and amicably. The focus must remain on supporting the Black Queens as they prepare for their upcoming qualifier against Zambia and ensuring that they can compete with the peace of mind and financial security they deserve.

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Ultimately, the Black Queens’ struggle for fair treatment reflects a broader struggle for equality and justice in sports and society at large. It is a reminder that the fight for gender equality is far from over and that concerted efforts are needed to create a more equitable and inclusive sporting landscape for all athletes, regardless of gender.

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