The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Perry Okudzeto, has urged philanthropists and corporate entities to support the various national women’s football teams to encourage them to give of their best in international competitions.

Mr Okudzeto made the call on Thursday when actress Yvonne Okoro presented a gift of $10,000 to the senior women’s team, Black Queens, for making it to the semi-finals of the 2019 WAFU Zone B Women’s tournament held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

The presentation was in fulfilment of a promise which the actress made to the team when she visited them in Abidjan during the tournament.

“Lately women’s football is receiving a huge recognition worldwide and that is why the government of Ghana is committed to this course. We are so proud of the ladies for winning gold last year and winning bronze this year at the tournament,” he said.

“I want to say a very big thank you to Miss Yvonne Okoro for travelling all the way to Abidjan to motivate the team to work hard and to win laurels for the country and also for honouring her promise to reward them if they make it to the semi-finals.

“We thank her for the kind gesture towards our national women’s team and we encourage other individuals and corporate organisations to come on board to support the national teams, either in cash or kind,” he added.

For her part, Miss Okoro said: “This is my first time watching the women play and I think that a lot of attention need to be given to them because they work really hard and they are doing so well. Apart from doing my presentation, this is also to tell the public that they need more support because they are winning a lot of medals for the nation.

The leadership of the Black Queens used the occasion to express their appreciation to the ministry for raising funds for the team to enable them participate in the competition.

Ghana failed to clinch the ultimate prize, but the Queens won bronze after beating Mali on penalties at the eight-nation tournament.

In attendance were GFA Normalisation Committee member, Naa Odofoley Nortey, Chief Director of the Ministry, Mr Frank Quist; Black Queens coach Mercy Tagoe Quarcoo and other technical staff of the team.