GHANA Football Association (GFA) president, Kwesi Nyantakyi has stressed the need for children to make education a priority in the pursuit of their football ambitions.
Speaking at the launch of the Milo U-13 Champions League, the FA boss stated that, it is important to dispel the notion that football is for school drop-outs and encouraged kids in schools to play football as well as develop careers that would sustain them after retiring from active football.
“We do not want our footballers to become paupers after football, as they should be able to take up certain professions after football,” he stated.
He added that an educated player is always better than an uneducated one, and the outfit would help footballers to become better human beings.
According to him-the notion that football is the preserve for school drop-outs is gradually changing over the years, as people have realised the need to link education with football.
He lauded Milo for the initiative stating that, the championship is a well-thought idea and accepted by the GFA, as it involves children in schools.
“This is a worthy initiative and the FA is excited to be part of the programme geared at promoting football in the country with focus on young talents,” he stressed.
The GFA he said, over 30 years has collaborated with the Ghana Education Service (GES), to launch several talents for the national teams, and the Milo U-13 is certain to achieve a similar result.
He recalled that the U-17 female team that represented Ghana at the World Cup in Azerbaijan in 2013, came from the Milo U-15 tournament held in Koforidua.
Launching the event, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed commended the organisers for the initiative, hoping it becomes one of the most popular sporting events in the country.
The ministry he said, would ensure that equal opportunities are provided to the various disciplines under the National Sports Authority (NSA).
He stressed that infrastructure would be provided, and asked private entities to assist in the development of sports in the country.
“I have no doubt that the Milo U-13 Champions League will be successful,” and entreated participants to make the nation proud,” he stated.
The country Manager of Nestle, Mrs. Freda Y. Duplan said the tournament will see schools participate from the district level through to the regional levels to the zonal level, where teams will compete for slots at the national finals slated for July in Kumasi.
Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah who is the Icon for the event, also expressed gratitude to Milo for giving the children the platform to showcase their talents.
By Michael D. Abayateye