By Frank Amponsah
President Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo has asked corporate institutions to help raise $25million for the Blacks Stars prepare towards playing in the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
President Akufo-Addo said even before the unset of COVID-19, Government would have found it difficult to raise the amount by itself.
However, Government, he said, is committed to providing $10million of the targeted amount to enable the Black Stars prepare adequately towards the tournament.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised for heads of corporate institutions and football administrators and lovers at the Jubilee House on Monday, President Akufo-Addo said he was aware that the pandemic had recked havoc on all aspects of national lives—affecting Government revenues and private businesses.
Next year, Ghana will witness two great competition — the African Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup.
The African Cup of Nations is due to take place in Cameron in the beginning of next year (2022) which the Black Stars had qualified for the tournament and need to prepare adequately towards the tournament.
The FIFA World Cup is also scheduled for next year June at Qatar. The Black Stars will have to play eight (8) qualifying matches, plus two international friendly matches in Europe.
The country’s target is to bring the African Cup home and play the semi-finals of the World Cup.
President Akufo-Addo said the Ministry of Youth and Sports, working with the Ghana Football Association needs some $25million to realise the country’s objectives in the two major tournaments.
He said once properly prepared “we have the quality and the talent to match any of the best teams in the world,” and indicated that the task might seem and appear daunting but it is certainly not un-surmountable.
President Akufo-Addo said football is a great passion of the Ghanaian people, and are not only obsessed about the country’s domestic football league and the National teams, but also those played in Europe, Americas and Asia.
He touted the superiority of the Black stars on continental football competitions and said the game had been a great source of pride for the nation.
The Black Stars, the President intimated, is an integral party of the legendary of Ghana, “the unconquerable honour of being the first colonial nation in sub-Saharan Africa, which was underlined in the earlier years of its independence, the superiority and dominance of the Black Stars in African football.”
He said the four continental football titles of the Black Stars, were won in 1963 and 1965, six and eight years respectively after independence.
“Such was the lustre of the Black Stars” President Akufo-Addo stated, adding that the last time the Black Stars brought the cup back home on the 4th occasion was is 1982; 40 years ago, next year”.
He said in spite of the huge amount to be mobilised in a COVID-19 economy “a successful Ghana in the world’s game brings credit and renown to all Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses and opens up even more doors for Ghanaians and their businesses.”
Again, the President said bringing back smiles on the faces of Ghanaians, “is priceless,” as the ripple effect would be felt on all Ghanaian lives and business organisations.
The Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif in his address said sports financing has been the preoccupation of the ministry where it needs to find a sustainable sports financing and development of sports in the country
He said it has become important that a dedicated sports fund which is key to the country’s sports development.
The Sports Minister said the dream to win the African cup and participate in the world cup requires adequate funding which government alone cannot shoulder hence the need to seek the support of corporate Ghana.
He assured the Ministry committed to cutting out wastage and be accountable to the people of Ghana.