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Sports Features of Saturday, 24 October 2015

Source: Akosua Amoo/Metro TV

FEATURE:It’s now or never for Black Queens

Black Queens Black Queens

The time is now or never!!!!

On Sunday, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama will have the sole honour of changing women’s football for the better or further lunge into ‘wilderness’ when he welcomes the Black Queens to the Castle.

It is quite interesting to see that a month after winning Ghana’s first gold medal of any kind in women’s football, the Queens are being treated this way especially when their colleagues of the same rank, the Black Stars get a lot more when they compete with the other teams on the continent and in the world.

But things were not always like this for the Stars.

Let me take you a trip down memory lane.

During the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, the state of football in Ghana changed forever.

Black Star players started acquiring huge winning bonuses as the USD 1,500 they earned went away and in came USD 8,000.

Whether the money helped or not, the Black Stars made history when they qualified for their first ever World Cup appearance in 2006.

Ghana was fun and we were proud of the men’s team but if qualifying for the World Cup was such a great achievement, then their female counterparts, the Black Queens were the first to reach football’s “Promised Land” but their narrative is a sad one.

The Black Queens and Black Stars have both played in three FIFA World Cup Tournaments.

Let us draw the comparisons:

Black Star players have earned huge sums of money and moved on to get lucrative club deals.

The Black Queens haven’t been that lucky.

In the past 33 years,the Black Stars have been unable to win a gold medal in any tournament.

Yet the Black Queens achieved an historic feat when they won gold at the just ended All Africa Games for the first time.

The Black Queens have won a gold medal, two silver medals and bronze medal in all competitions in the past eleven years.

Recently, the Black Stars were splashed with over $60,000 each and Grand Cherokee Jeep worth $76,000 for winning silver in the 2015 AFCON.

The Queens were handed a paltry sum of $5000 for winning gold at the All Africa games after a long ‘soap opera’ with the Sports Ministry.

Women’s football has been marginalized for so long in Ghana.

The Queens deserve a King’s ransom for all the years of service but they are not demanding that.

They just want what is respectable.

In an exclusive interview with Metro Sports, Black Queens player Samira Suleman made a request for a Hundyai i10 or a Toyota Corolla as their reward for winning gold in the All Africa Games from His Excellency John Dramani Mahama.

Think about it for a minute. They ladies want nothing extravagant from the state.

Quite frankly, I don’t think they need cars even though getting it is not entirely bad.

What the Black Queens need are investments over $20,000 which will reap huge benefits in the nearby future.

That is the only buffer they can fall on when they decide to call it a day with the national team.

Some are already nearing the end of their time so you can understand how resilient they were in demanding for their winning and qualification bonuses after the All Africa Games.

They may get their money when they meet the President but what they have is a huge opportunity to get things done right so that the next generation of Black Queens will be treated like royalty.

Their name even demands it!!!