Ghana

First batch of buses for clubs to arrive soon

Twelve of the buses for distribu­tion to clubs in the country will be in by the end of the 2023/2024 season, says the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr Kurt Okraku.

That will be a fulfilment of a promise by the Okraku adminis­tration which identified lack of decent buses for the clubs as one of the challenges they face.

He said the 12 would be the first tranche of the buses to be presented to the clubs, adding that it was an idea to strategically invest in the clubs.

Mr Okraku said this at an inter­active session with the media in Kumasi, yesterday.

The meeting was to solicit ideas from the media and public for strategies to bring back the love for football and other sports, especially for the national team, the Black Stars.

This followed the abysmal per­formance of the Black Stars in the ongoing AFCON 2023 at Côte d’ Ivoire, where the national team was booted out at the group stage.

He said what had gingered reflections for strategies was the game Ghana played against Mo­zambique in the AFCON.

“It has been a reflective period to take far reaching decisions that will strategically impact positively on the game of football.”

The GFA President was of the view that fixing football in the country was not the work of only members of the Association.

“It is our efforts and your support; we are much committed to bringing back the love, but the public needs to stand shoulder to shoulder with us in good and bad times.”

He said the continuous honesty among the GFA members and to the public and investment in the basics were the only way to achieve the dreams of bringing back the love in football.

Among the strategies, he men­tioned talent identification to catch the players at their youthful stage; adding that the GFA had in col­laboration with FIFA established talent identification programme funded by FIFA.

Kids selected from the pro­gramme, he explained, would be housed in the newly established GFA Elite Football Academies, the first of which has been established in the Upper East region.

He said the kids who would be carefully selected to be trained would be given the opportunity to become national heroes.

The end vision of the GFA, he said “is to establish GFA’s own academies in 10 regions of the country.”

On coaching and refereeing, he said that efforts were being made to ensure they live up to the expec­tation, indicating that 10 pick-ups were ready for the referees to boost their morale.

He also disclosed that $100,000 worth of footballs had been distrib­uted among the colts teams in the country.

Responding to questions on pro­ceeds from the World Cup for lega­cy projects, Mr Okraku said Ghana had $2.8million and that part of the amount was being used to complete the Prampram stadium.

On the performance of the Black Stars at the ongoing 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire, the GFA President was least enthused about their showing, saying “the performance was not what I wanted to see, and it was not what you wanted to see…their per­formance fell below expectations.”

“Making it to Qatar 2022 World Cup and the 2023 AFCON were big steps, we needed to qualify to compete, but the end vision of winning the trophies were not met,” he underlined.

He said he was not happy and would not accept qualifications as an achievement because “I want to win trophies, and we will invest more to succeed.”

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