‘Winning Afcon 2021, Qatar World Cup semis berth to cost Ghana $25m’
The state is funding 40% of the budget and looking to raise the balance from corporate institutions.
Ghana’s government is looking to raise an amount of $25 million to fund the country’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and Fifa World Cup campaigns next year.
In a breakfast meeting Monday, President Nana Akufo-Addo hosted CEOs from Corporate Ghana to woo them into contributing at least 60% of the budget in the project for the senior national team, the Black Stars which has government as its sole financier.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports, with its rather small budget, is already stretched with the need to fairly support all sporting federations towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympics later this summer.
This has necessitated the need for new Sports Minister Mustapha Ussif, with the help of the presidency, to solicit funds from the corporate world to embark on the project which requires a substantial amount of investment.
Both the Ghana Football Association and the Sports Ministry believe the budgeted amount will be enough for the Black Stars in achieving their set target of winning the upcoming 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and a semifinal berth at the Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup.
“I invited you here because I need your help,” President Akufo-Addo said in an address to the CEOs of some selected state institutions from the extractive sector which included Ghana Gas, Ghana National Petroleum, Goldfields Ghana, and many others at the seat of government, the Jubilee House.
“As you all know, football is a great passion of our people. Much as the results of matches involving Asante Kotoko, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, Juventus and Orlando Pirates can be the sources of great anguish and happiness, nothing matches the deep sense of disappointment that accompanies a bad game for the Black Stars…”
The President continued: “Indeed, next year will witness two great competitions affecting the Black Stars – the Africa Cup of Nations due to take place in Cameroon…
“In the global is the World Cup, the apex competition of world football scheduled for June in Qatar. The team has to play 8 World Cup qualifying matches plus two international friendlies in Europe.
“The target is to bring the cup home next year by winning the Afcon 2021. We have to go a step further than the second place we recorded in 1992, 2010 and 2015 and bring the 40-year drought to an end.
“We must also reach at least the semifinals of the World Cup in Qatar. Our exploits in South Africa 2010 where we reach the quarterfinals, tell us that once properly prepared we have the quality and the talent to match any of the best teams in the world. The task might seem and appear daunting but it is certainly not insurmountable.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports, working with the Ghana Football Association, need some $25 million to realize our objectives for these two major tournaments.”
President Akufo-Addo indicated his government is committed to funding $10m of the estimate and urged Corporate Ghana to help fund the remainder.
“Even before the onset of COVID-19, government would have found it difficult to raise this amount by itself. So government, however, is committed to providing $10 million of this targeted amount.
“I’m aware that the pandemic has wreaked havoc on all aspects of our national life, affecting revenues of government and many of you but also result in increase in profit for others.
“We should be reminded of the fact that a successful Ghana in the world game brings credit and .. to all Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses and opens up even more doors for Ghanaians and their businesses. So I’m asking all to contribute to raising the balance of this amount which is $15million,” he admonished.
President of the Ghana Football Association Kurt Okraku and Black Stars head coach CK Akonnor who was represented by Sammy Kuffour at the meeting, join Sports Minister Mustapha Ussif and his deputy Evans Poku Bobie in forming the Fundraising Committee.