The Deputy Skipper of the Black Stars, Andre “Dede” Ayew has offered to purchase flight tickets for members of Avram Grant’s 23-man squad who are expected in the country for the final 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda on September 3.
Ayew’s move is in reaction to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS) decision not to finance the cost of business class tickets for 21 foreign-based members of the team.
According to the Deputy General Secretary of the GFA, Ibrahim Saanie Daara, most of the players are ready to purchase their own tickets but the injured West Ham star has decided to fund the cost for players who are unable to do so.
“The truth is that the players themselves in a massive show of patriotism have decided that they want to pay for their own tickets to come for the match,” Mr Daara said.
“However, there are some players in the squad who are unable to afford the tickets and for that Andre Ayew has decided that he will pay for them to turn up for the game.
“In this very last minute, it is impossible and if we don’t honour the match CAF will ban us from the African Cup of Nations and we will be banned from the subsequent Cup of Nations in 2019”.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, had earlier stated that since the Black Stars have already qualified for the 2017 AFCON, its funds will be better spent on other sporting discliplines.
“We have not officially communicated anything of the sort to the Ghana Football Association. By telephone communication I have told the Management Committee Chairman who is the vice president of the FA, yes we dont have the money to finance this particular match,” the Minister said.
He said the MOYS would rather set aside such monies to cater for the Black Maidens and the National Paralympic Team.
Mr Vanderpuije also urged the GFA to pay for the tickets of the foreign-based players if they could.