Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe, General Captain for Team Ghana at the just ended Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, has defended his decision to lead a revolt by athletes in camp during the Games.
The three-time Paralympian reportedly sent out a rallying call on mobile messaging application Whatsapp to his teammates to get ready for a boycott of the rest of the Games if their outstanding bonuses were not paid with immediate effect.
The government and the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) subsequently moved in swiftly to settle all bonuses by paying the $2,300 owed the Ghanaian athletes.
Nkgebe, regarded as the most senior of all the athletes at the Games, with a lot of experience in international competitions said on their arrival at the airport, he was proud of what he did as the leader of the team.
He said he was left with no other choice than what he did because they had exhausted all available options.
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“What I can say about the voice note that came out is that it was my voice, and if you pass through all the necessary channels to make your voice heard about the athletes you are leading and all attempts fail, what do you do?” Nkegbe queried.
“The decision I took as a leader to fight for the rights of the athlete, I think is the best I could do. How things were going, I think if I didn’t choose to go that way I don’t think they would have given us the money,” he maintained.
“The athletes said worst things but my voice was stronger because I am the leader and wanted things to happen. The athletes deserved what was due them. So me being a leader and coming out to fight for their right, as made them happy and I’m happy,” he added.
Team Ghana returned on Friday, April 20 from the Games with one medal (bronze in boxing) and placing 39th out of the 71 countries that participated.