The Ghana Deaf Football Association (GDFA) has launched a special appeal for funds to support the participation of the national deaf football team, the Black Wonders in the Africa Deaf Football Championship in Sierra Leone.
Officials of the Association told the Times Sports yesterday that the GDFA needs an amount of US$36,000 for the West Africa sub-regional championship slated for September 3-13.
The amount will take care of local preparations including feeding and camping as well as airfares, feeding, transportation, bonuses and other incidentals while in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Victor Torku, the sign language interpreter of the GDFA said camping for the players has been delayed due to the lack of funds and appealed to the corporate bodies and philanthropists to come to their aid.
Despite the financial challenge, Mr. Torku disclosed that the GDFA has secured the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Pitch facility to begin residential camping for the boys who have been training for a while now.
He said the team has been struggling to raise funds for the team despite appeals to the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and several organizations but there has not been any response.
He also made a special appeal to former Black Stars skipper, Asamoah Gyan, to support the team because he remains a role model to a number of the footballers.
“We have sent letters to so many places including the MoYS but we have no response yet. The championship is a few weeks away and we need to prepare the team well because we will need qualification for the main Africa championship.
“I also want the Asamoah Gyan to extend some of his philanthropic works to the deaf national football team. They like him a lot and met him recently at an event but failed to contact him. He can even visit the team in camp; that will also be another form of motivation.”
He expressed gratitude to former President, Jerry John Rawlings for his support for the team, adding that, “he has promised to talk to a few people to come to our aid.”
The championship will also serve as a preparatory platform for the deaf World Cup to be hosted by South Korea in 2020.
BY ANDREW NORTEY