It was a battle of wits and ideas when five of the six contestants vying for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) president position engaged in a debate held on Monday in Accra.
Missing on the evening was the sixth contestant, Mr George Afriyie who was reported to be on a business trip outside Ghana.
In his absence, the five answered questions relating to challenges faced by the FA and solutions as well as their plans and visions to give the FA a new image.
A former vice president of the FA, Mr Fred Pappoe told the gathering his focus was to rebrand the FA to attract sponsorship.
In his view, the Ghana FA has suffered bruises with integrity and credibility issues that came to the fore after an Anas documentary on corruption in Ghana football, leading to sanctions by FIFA and the government of Ghana and followed by the formation of a Normalisation Committee by FIFA.
“I hope to restore confidence in the system to attract businesses. TV rights cannot be attracted when we have credibility and integrity issues. We need to solve these issues before we can attract the sponsors,” he said.
He said colt football was suffering because of disinterest on the part of football lovers, adding that, “Interest in the higher level of football is a major reason leading to the decline in colt football.”
The ‘Game Changer’, Kurt Okraku on his part shared plans to revive colts football which is the backbone of Ghana football.
Mr Okraku said colts’ football in the country lacks the basics such as infrastructure, pitches, lack of footballs and boots.
He said it was important to create several venues for colt games to be played across the country to let fans feel the game at their respective bases.
The only female contestant in the elections, Miss Amanda Clinton, vowed to make the new FA a very transparent and accountable organisation and urged the delegates to vote for her.
”I don’t believe it is only the football people that can solve the problem at the FA. The delegates must vote wisely to get the best person to lead the FA.”
Nana Yaw Amponsah, president of ‘Phar Rangers’ Football Club said it was time for the nation to invest heavily in the youth.
He said all the local leagues would be enrolled on international platforms and invite business people to interact with clubs in the country to find a way of partnering to develop the game.
Mr George Ankamah spoke about the introduction football tourism and ensures it becomes part of the landscape of Ghana.
He also admonished the football fraternity to show great respect to the fans as one of the primary stakeholders of football in the country.
BY TIMES SPORTS REPORTER