Ghana amputee football team not stranded – NPC boss

The President of the National Paralympic Committee (NPC), Mr. Samson Deen says reports that Ghana’s team that won the 2021 Amputee African Cup of Nations in Tanzania on Saturday were stranded are untrue.

According to the NPC, the team had return tickets to their base in Turkey.

“The players traveled to Tanzania from Turkey, not Ghana and have return tickets to Turkey but after winning the trophy, they had a change of mind. They demanded a trip to Ghana to present the trophy to President Nana Akufo-Addo. That needed a change in travel arrangement but has been done. Nobody got stranded.”

Mr. Deen explained that arrangement have been made for the team to travel to Ghana to meet the President.

He commended the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Mustapha Ussif and the Chief Director of the Ministry, Alhaji Hafiz Adam, for the timely decision to re-route the flight of the eight players to Ghana to enable them meet the President of the Republic.

Ghana on Saturday emerged champions at the 2021 Amputee African Cup of Nations hosted in Tanzania after beating Liberia 3-2 in the final at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium.

Afterwards, a video emerged on social media with the captain of the team,Richard Arthur Opentil calling on Government and Ghanaians to assist them get to Ghana and present the trophy to the President of the land after “they made the nation proud.”

“The team did very well in Tanzania and efforts are being made for them to be recognized and acknowledged by the nation in due course,” he stated.

He also congratulated the team for their exceptional performance towin the ultimate trophy.

In his statement, Mr. Deen who doubles as the President of African Paralympic Committee, said “I wish to congratulate our gallant national amputee football team, the Black Challenge, for the sweet victory at the sixth Cup of African Nations for Amputee (CANAF) in Tanzania.” 

“What makes this victory very important and unique is that only eight players represented the nation in the tournament without the mandatory accompanying technical and administrative staff, financial and material assistance from the state, “he added. 

The team he said, had only one player on the bench and no coach to rely on for a superior strategy over their opponents, yet they went against all odds to lift the cup ahead of the three times champions, Liberia. 

“The disability family salutes you on your achievement and appreciates your bravery, sense of determination and courage, character, and self-motivation, which continues to propel you to use the power of sports to overwhelm every imagination and thought of disability and showcase your potentials,” he stressed.

The players that made the trip include Emmanuel Allotey, Richard Arthur Opentil, Mohammed Mubarik, Fuseini Iddi, Richard Ekwam, Hamza Mohammed, Yussif Yahaya, and Stephen Richard Obeng.

BY MICHAEL D.ABAYATEYE

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