Stephen Appiah, the former captain of Ghana‘s national football team supports Black Stars players receiving higher paying bonuses while representing the country in international play. Appiah, now-retired and working for the team in an administrative role, says that players should get all the money due to them.
Appiah, who was the captain of the 2006 World Cup team, now serves as a liaison for the Black Stars and coach Kwesi Appiah. The team will be playing in this year’s FIFA World Cup event this summer in Brazil.
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Critics of the team have lashed out at players regarding their pay, but on Thursday, Appiah defended the players in a brief statement:
When people hear about money, it generates a lot of talk, but people don’t look at what the players are bringing to the country,” Appiah said to BBC Sport. “The players don’t just play, they draw attention to the country, to Ghana. Those small things put the country on the map.
The players are due to make $75,000 USD each, and an additional $45,000 USD if they happen to advance from the group stage.
Appiah’s stance for the current players has been inspired in part to the poor treatment of former Black Stars players.
When we played against Lesotho, I got to the stadium Osei Kufour and C.K Akunnor and saw Damba (former Black Stars goalkeeper), Kofi Abbrey, and others sweating at the gate. They had been denied entry in to the VIP area, but these are people who gave their all for the nation, Appiah said.
When you are playing, people care about you. When you stop, they just don’t care, Appiah added.
The Black Stars have not won a major title in 32 years, although Appiah insists the team has improved every year and has reached the Africa Cup Of Nations semi-finals for the past six years and are entering their third World Cup event.
Watch Appiah talk about Ghana surprising the world for the 2014 World Cup here:
Appiah, who last played for the Black Stars in 2010 and internationally in 2012, says that the team’s path to the World Cup will be difficult.
“Everyone wants a trophy, but it’s not that easy. Are the players bringing results? The answer is yes,” said Appiah.