Ghana earmarks $8m for Women African Cup of Nations

• Freda Prempeh delivering her welcome address

• Freda Prempeh delivering her welcome address

Government has approved eight million US dollars for the Women’s African Cup of Nations to be hosted in Ghana in November, this year.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah during the launch of the tournament in Accra on Friday evening.
According to the Minister, the country is now ready to host one of the best tournaments in the world and expecting the women’s national team, the Black Queens, to win the trophy for the first time on home soil.
“Preparations are on course and we are doing everything possible financially to put the team in shape for the tournament and hope they would win the ultimate prize,” he stated.
He added that facilities would also be ready ahead of time for the team to train and work on their fitness in order to make the nation proud.
Mr Asiamah also praised the Local Organizing Community (LOC) of the AFCON for their relentless efforts in ensuring that facilities are ready to host the rest of Africa.
“The women have demonstrated that they could sometimes do better than men as far as organization of such tournaments are concerned. They are ensuring that Ghana emerges as one of the best destinations for hosting football in the world,” he stated.
Chairperson of the LOC, Freda Prempeh, added that they have taken the challenge to express their ability in organising and playing football to the entire world and looking forward to an exciting tournament.
She explained that eight teams will be participating in the competition and four would be hosted in Accra to use the El Wak and Achimota Park for training while the other four would be in Cape Coast where they would use the Nduom Sports Stadium and Robert Mensah Sports for training and matches.
According to the LOC chairperson, they are challenged to raise the bar and organise a tournament that would leave on the hearts of Ghanaians and the rest of the world.
She also acknowledged the First and Second Ladies of the country, Rebecca Akufo-Addo and Samira Bawumia for coming on board to renovate some facilities for the tournament.
“Some activities lined up to arouse public interest and raise awareness include a ladies only jama competition, outdooring of tournament ambassadors and the playing of the theme song composed by Wiyala, Asamoah Gyan and Grace Ashie,”, she explained.
She said, they are poised to organize a world class tournament and called on corporate entities to come on board to assist the LOC to host a memorable tournament.
Chairperson for the launch, Mrs Joyce Wereku Ampim Opoku, said the country has more than the required human resources to host the tournament.
She is hopeful that after the tournament, women football in the country would rise to appreciable standards with support from stakeholders.
Madam Prempeh urged corporate entities and the public to support women football as she believes the Black Queens has what it takes to conquer the rest of Africa and win the trophy in December when the 13th edition of the Women’s AFCON ends in Ghana.

BY MICHAEL D.  ABAYATEYE

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