GFA commissions first phase of Winkogo Technical Centre  

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Gfa
GFA

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) has commissioned the first phase of the Winkogo Technical Centre in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region as part of efforts to improve sports infrastructure in the region. 

The first phase consists of FIFA standard artificial football Astro turf, floodlights connected to the national grid, two technical benches, two movable goalposts, standby generator to power lights, inner perimeter and a fence wall around the entire parcel of land.

Sod was also cut for construction of the second phase of the project to begin which would comprise a modern office space for the Upper East Regional Football Association, changing rooms for teams and officials, and spectator stands among others, capable hosting all matches from grassroot football to the premier League level.

The construction, with funding from FIFA Forward 1.0 Programme would be a relief to the football industry in the region as football teams would for the first time have standard fields for all domestic competitions.

Hitherto, the Upper East Region which had one division one team, 24 second division clubs, 21 third division clubs, seven women division one clubs and 84 juvenile clubs did not have single standard pitch and teams which qualified for division one and the Premier League had to always travel to Tamale to play their home matches.

Speaking at the commissioning at Winkogo, Mr Kurt Edwin Simeon Okraku, the President of GFA, explained that the GFA had only one Technical Centre at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region and same was being replicated at Winkogo in the Upper East Region.

He said deprived regions particularly the Upper East Region had the potential to produce good football talents to contribute to the development of football fraternity in the country but lacked the needed footballing infrastructure.

He said “it is very true that there is shortage of footballing infrastructure in this part of the country”, adding that there must be strategic investment to improve the sports infrastructure deficit and support the growth of football in the region.

Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, commended the FIFA through the GFA and noted that the significance of the project to the growth of the sports industry and health of the people could not be overemphasized and urged the youth to take advantage of the facility to unearth their potentials.

“Sporting activities apart from its health benefits also fosters unity among communities and countries and ultimately business ventures both locally and internationally,” he said.

He mentioned players like the Ayew family, Osman Bukari Sulley Muntari, Mohammed Kudus, Majeed Waris, and Baba Rahman as players who hailed from the region and Northern Ghana and had achieved a lot and made big investments in the sports and urged the youth to take advantage of the facility.

Alhaji Sani Mohammed Adams, the Head of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministering of Youth and Sports, noted that investment in sports was the surest way to achieving a Ghana Beyond Aid and reiterated the commitment of government to continue to invest in sports infrastructure across the country.

Tong Raan, Kugbilisong Nanlebeteng, the Paramount Chief of the Talensi Traditional Area, noted that the Winkogo Technical Centre could be a major turning point for sports development in the region and expressed readiness to release more lands for similar projects to improve the wellbeing of the region

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