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STATEMENT: Sports For Hope – Ghana Offers Recommendations To The Normalization Committee

The Normalization Committee formed by FIFA/CAF/Government to oversee reforms in Ghana Football, has asked the public to offer suggestions and ideas on how to revive Football in Ghana. Sports for hope-Ghana wants to offer the following recommendations as our response to the call.

  1. THE NEED TO DEVELOP A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE GHANAMAN SOCCER CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

Background

The Ghanaman Soccer Centre of excellence at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region, which was constructed 14 years ago, as part of the FIFA Goal Project, was aimed at providing funds for the improvement of football infrastructure in developing countries. It was expected that this would help bridge the infrastructural gap between the developed and the developing countries.

Through a progressive process, Ghana has reached the Goal Five stage of the Goal Project. Funds were provided by FIFA, GFA and to some extent the Government of Ghana.

-Goal l was the initial construction of the technical Centre at Prampram, named the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of excellence.

-Goal ll was investment in the “House of Football”, the current headquarters of the Ghana Football Association.

-Goal lll was investment in a Multi-purpose dining and conference facility at the Centre.

-Goal lV was investment in the construction of a football academy, learning Centers, Pitches and offices for administrative purposes

-Goal V was investment in the construction of an artificial turf

Sports for Hope-Ghana, has observed that, despite all these infrastructural developments, the Centre in its current state, is being under-utilized and poorly managed. Apart from serving as camping grounds for the Junior and female national teams and occasional coaching programs, the Centre is not operating at its maximum capacity.

Our Solution/Suggestions

We recommend that the Normalization committee develop a strategic plan for the Centre.

  1. The strategic plans must target areas such as governance and leadership, Financial stability, Technical development, Programmes, business development and communication.
  2. The ultimate agenda is to properly utilise and develop the Centre into one of the best football research Centres in Africa.

Other uses of the Centre must include the following;

  1. The base for identifying raw talents for the national teams.
  2. Promotion of Grassroots Football
  3. Training/Capacity building of Specialist Support staff including Physiotherapist, Performance analyst, Psychologists, Nutritionists, Strength and conditioning coaches, etc
  4. Organizing regular football seminars, conferences and workshops on best practices and modern trends in football.
  5. Promoting the Social and Development benefits of Football
  6. Promoting Research into how football could be used to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Ghana.

 

Form a Residential National Juvenile Academy

The current arrangement of recruitment to the national under 17 team is ad-hoc and lacks any policy direction. Anytime the national under 17 team fails to qualify for a major tournament to showcase their talent to the world, the team is disbanded. Only few of them get the chance to progress in their career. This creates school drop-outs in the system, with its attendant consequences.

Sports for Hope-Ghana recommend the following:

  1. the formation of a residential national juvenile academy to be based at the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of excellence. This academy must target both boys and girls.
  2. This can only be possible through a comprehensive plan to develop grassroots football at all levels by reviving the juvenile leagues across the country along educational lines.
  3. The pursuit of football stardom typically comes at the expense of formal education and vocational training. The Centre must therefore provide the perfect environment for young footballers to develop in their chosen sport, whilst studying towards a nationally recognized qualification.
  4. The talented ones must be recruited yearly from the Juvenile,” colts” leagues across the country. Our research indicates that the very talented young footballers are the most-at-risk of dropping out of school. This will ensure that they pursue a career in football without having to give up their studies. This will help in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5, which touches on quality education and girls’ empowerment respectively.
  5. Through partnerships with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education, they should be offered a progressive pathway where they will have the opportunity to combine football with education thereby progressing to professional standards. Apart from the opportunity of developing sporting talent, the academy must give importance to personality development.
  6. A sustainable progression structure through disciplined training and competitive participation must be offered in the following manner:

I. They will form the nucleus of the Junior National Teams. They can also play in the Ghana Leagues, Professional leagues abroad

II. Transitioned into the universities, Technical/Vocational schools and scholarships to study abroad.

III. Apprenticeship/Internship- Work-based apprenticeship within Sport, leisure or fitness industries

IV. Employment- Roles within sport, management, leisure etc.

 

Conclusion

It is our hope and the hope of all Ghanaians that this initiative by the Normalization Committee, if properly coordinated, would once again, put Ghana football at the pinnacle of world football in general and Africa in particular. Ghanaians have lost hope in Ghana football but bringing back this hope is not far fetch. Ghana has the raw talents in football. The problem is management. We wish to encourage all Ghanaian football enthusiasts to lend their support for a better Ghana.

Sport for Hope, is an independent, Non-Partisan, Non-Profit Sport for Development Organization based in Ghana. We are Dedicated to the promotion of Development through Sport. We aim to achieve our objectives through Advocacy, Programs, and Research.

For more information contact:

Abdul Wahab Musah, 0244934527/0081-9074043053

sportsforhopeghana@yahoo.com

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