Chairman of the Ghana Amputee Football Association (GAFA), Rev. Richard Nii Amartey Adesah, has made a passionate appeal to corporate bodies, individuals and well-meaning Ghanaians to come to the aid of the Association to enable Ghana participate in the forthcoming Amputee Football World Cup in Mexico.
At a special fund raising ceremony in Accra, Rev Adesah stated that, government alone could not cater for all the needs of the team, therefore companies and individuals needed to come on board to support the national amputee football team, the Black Challenge’s participation in the world cup in November this year.
He enumerated the challenges the team faced in the past, resorting to begging to get government to support its participation in previous competitions, saying in spite of all of that the management, technical and playing bodies keep on working hard to achieve laurels for the country.
“Ghana is once again participating in the World Cup in Mexico in November; but honestly, we announce this good news with mixed feelings because we are wondering how to surmount the usual challenge we have been facing any time we have to participate in such events,” he lamented.
He disclosed that the Association had lined up series of programmes to adequately prepare the team to win the world this year.
“Management has a lot of programmes lined up to ensure that the team does not only participate but win the cup to become the first in Africa to do so; this is possible!!!”
Some of the programmes the team is billed to participate in include, “a friendly match with Nigeria scheduled to take place in Accra on May 10, with a return match later in Lagos; another friendly match in Europe with amputee nations like Poland, Turkey, France, or Italy ahead of the World Cup to prepare the team adequately.”
On a biblical note, Rev Adesah asked Ghanaians to come to Macedonia to rescue the Association in its day-to-day running of affairs of the Association, “Hear the cry Amputees and come to Macedonia to save us from this life of challenges.”
For his part, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, commended the Association for taking such an initiative, assuring its leadership of the Ministry’s support, especially in relation to participation in events like the world cup.
He regretted that the Ministry received just about GH¢36 million out of the GH¢200 million it requested for the year; this, he observed, restrained the ministry from giving out the requisite support to the various associations.
However, he pledged his support to the Association’s effort and made a call to corporate bodies to extend their corporate social responsibilities to vulnerable groups like the amputee footballers.
Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah, assured the Association of his support for its programmes, maintaining that, he was doing that, conscious of the fact that disability was anybody’s lot.
Some individuals, including former Black Stars player, Tony Baffoe, made promises and pledges, recalling that he supported the kitting of the team in the past through Puma.
Chief Executive Officer of Macdan Shipping, Daniel McKorley also lent his helping hand with a pledge and a promise to bring other friends on board.
The programme was chaired by Nene Okukrubour Teye Kwesi Agyemang V, Chief of Dodowa, who said he would join in the campaign to raise funds to make the world cup dream a reality.