President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appealed to corporate Ghana to raise funds to support the senior national football team, the Black Stars, to prepare adequately for its upcoming continental and global tourneys.
At a fundraising breakfast meeting held at the Jubilee House, Accra, on Monday, the President said the Black Stars needed all the support it can get to bring the nearly 40-year trophy drought to an end.
The last time the Black Stars lifted a trophy was in 1982 when the team won the 13th edition of the African Cup of Nations, beating host nation Libya in a penalty kick-out in the finals of the competition.
It is, however, preparing for the 33rd edition of the African Cup of Nations that comes off next year in Cameroon, and the FIFA World Cup scheduled for June 2022 in Qatar.
In preparation towards the two major tournaments, the Black Stars would need some USD25 million to make a showing at those events. The Government of Ghana is providing USD 10 million for the purpose, and is looking to corporate Ghana to support the team with the remaining USD15 million.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering, made up of key stakeholders in Corporate Ghana, that it was time the Black Stars regained their pride of place in global football.
He was optimistic that given the needed support, the national senior soccer team possessed the quality and talent to take on the best teams in the world, saying, “Our exploits in South Africa, in 2010 where we reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup, tell us that once we are properly prepared, we have the quality and the talent to match any of the best teams in the world”.
The President said the Government would strongly need the intervention of Corporate Ghana to ensure that the Black Stars prepared adequately to capture the AFCON 21 trophy, and get to, at least, the semi-finals of the 2022 world Cup.
The Government, he said, would only be able to raise an amount of USD10 million to support that enterprise and would thus require that corporate Ghana to raise the remaining USD15 million to help achieve the dream of bringing the senior National team to its former glory.
The President said the target set for the Team in both upcoming tourneys was for the Black Stars to win the AFCON 2022 cup by going a step further than the second places recorded in 1992, 2010, and 2015 and break the 40-year trophy jinx.
However, those targets, he said, though daunting, was not insurmountable when enough funds are raised to support their preparation for the tournaments.
The Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr. Mustapha Ussif, the Deputy Minister nominee for youth and Sport, Mr. Evans Opoku Bobie, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) President, Mr. Kurt Okraku and Former Black Stars defender, Sammy Kufuor, representing the Team’s coach, C. K. Akonnor, would be spearheading the agenda to raise the 15 million balance target to enable the national side participate convincingly in the two events.