Ghana’s national netball team could miss participation in the 2023 Africa Games netball competition following its indebtedness to the World Netball.
Information available to the Times Sports indicates that the Netball Federation of Ghana (NFG) has been inactive for the past 11 years on the competitive netball scene.
Its last competitive engagement was at the 2011 Africa Games competition held in Maputo, Mozambique.
President of the NFG, Rev Emmanuel Nikoi, confirmed this and attributed it to the financial challenges of the Federation.
Hopes of taking advantage of Ghana’s hosting of the grand continental multi sports event to make a grand return was also shot down with a caution from World Netball to NFG to settle the debt or forfeit participation.
The reprieve, however, was the cancellation of the over a decade debt owed in affiliation fees, leaving the NFG with a total of £900 pounds to pay.
A letter to Ghana’s Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS), from World Netball and sighted by the Times Sports requested for assistance to enable the Ghanaian outfit to settle its debt.
Ghana is expected to pay £250 as Joining Fee and £650 as Membership Fee.
“The payment of the outstanding fees will ensure that Ghana is reinstated as a full member of World Netball and will have the opportunity to enjoy the benefits offered by World Netball,” the letter said.
“The netball competition in the African Games will count towards world rankings and it is therefore important that the Netball Federation of Ghana be assisted to play competitive netball by the time of the Africa Games. Ghana has been out of international netball for far too long,” the letter stated.
The letter signed by Joan Smit, Africa Regional Development Manager for World Netball, said Ghana has already been included in the 2023 World Cup Legacy Programme to benefit from developmental programmes in coaching, umpiring and administration.
Despite discussing details of the letter with MoYS, Rev Nikoi has appealed to corporate bodies and individuals to come to the aid of the Federation financially as they aim to make an appearance at the Games.
He said Ghana has lost her enviable place in netball as a result of the financial challenges, denying the teeming youth that made a living out of the sport.
“I want to appeal to companies and individuals to come to our aid. Netball used to be a big sport in Ghana and offered employment to a lot of girls who are now idle because there is no competition,” he said.
BY ANDREW NORTEY