The Executive Council of the Ghana Football Association called on President of the Republic H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House on Wednesday, December 20, 2023, to officially introduce members of the newly elected Council to him and to seek his support in their quest to provide equitable leadership to bring Ghana Football back to the top.
The new Executive Council was elected into office on Thursday, October 5, 2023, at an elective congress in Tamale for a four-year term. Youth and Sports Minister Mustapha Ussif (Hon.), who facilitated the meeting, was in attendance.
The Executive Council was led by President Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku. Others included Vice President Mark Addo, Dr. Randy Abbey, Nana Sarfo Oduro, Dr. Gifty Oware-Mensah, Samuel Aboabire, and Kingsley Osei Bonsu. The rest are James Kwasi Appiah, Alhaji Abu Hassan, Gideon Fosu, and Eugene Nobel.
“Congratulations are in order on your re-election as President of the GFA, and also to the new Council, I want to congratulate you on winning your various seats to serve on the Board,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“As an avid football fan, I am very much aware of the challenges that confront us, as results have not been good in recent games. But you can count on me for the necessary support. ”
“We have some very good talents scattered across the globe, so I don’t understand why we shouldn’t perform in tournaments.”
“Ghanaians are obsessed with football, and you have the mandate of ensuring that our game is on the right path. We have the Africa Cup of Nations in a few days, and it is our responsibility to give the technical team and the playing body the needed support to succeed in neighboring Cote D’Ivoire”.
“It’s been forty-one years since Ghana won the Africa Cup of Nations. If my memory serves me right, we have played in a couple of finals in recent times and lost on penalties in 2015. Expectations are very high, so let’s do our best to make this tournament a success” H.E Nana Akufo-Addo added.
For his part, President Simeon-Okraku appealed to President Akufo-Addo to look into the law that bars alcoholic beverage companies from sponsoring football competitions in Ghana.
President Simeon-Okraku on behalf of the Executive Council later presented a detailed proposal to President Akufo-Addo on key issues that bother on the development of football in Ghana.
The key issues are as follows:
- That the existing legislative framework for motivating corporate support for Football be proactively activated and implemented. An attractive tax waiver program should be passed into law for companies that invest $2 million dollars in football in a year the opportunity to treat this expenditure as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
- That Government take the strategic decision to invest significant amount of funds and resources into Grassroots Football Development. That the Government as matter of policy support the 10 regions in the country with a total of $5 million annually for Grassroots Football Development.
- All national stadia be urgently renovated and a sustainable model for operating them be instituted. The National Sports Authority should liaise effectively with the GFA to ensure a win-win situation for all Stakeholders in the effective utilization of the stadia. Government to embark on a One District, One Turf program, in conjunction with the GFA. The Executive Council of the GFA shall avail itself to work with Government actively on this program.
- That items imported for use by the National Teams and Grassroots Football development be exempted from tax.
- The Government should spreadhead an initiative to engage all stakeholders (FDA, MOYS, GFA, Beverage Companies) to develop the framework to harmonize this FDA legislation to enable beverage companies invest and sponsor football in the country.
- That football clubs in alignment with the entertainment industry be levied 3% VAT so as to give the clubs opportunities to build their capacities.
- Government should consider spearheading a policy that will ensure betting companies invest back in football by allocating a 20% of taxes collected on winnings purses to the GFA.
- That Government assists the GFA to acquire two buses for the national teams as well as two mini buses.
- That the Ministry of Youth and Sports support travel budgets for all clubs participating in continental competitions whilst the GFA continues to explore additional forms of support. Government to bear costs of accommodation, airline tickets and agreed per diem to Clubs participating in Africa for their foreign trips. Government to support clubs participating in Africa with Security and accommodation for Match officials appointed to officiate their home matches.
- The GFA, GES and other relevant entities collaborate to strengthen Schools Football, by identifying talented footballers in schools and as part of their development pathway, the GFA will place them in the newly established GFA Elite Academy.
- A concerted collaborative effort be made by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association to close this gap by paying the salaries of the technical teams of all the remaining national teams.
- That Government of Ghana consider an arrangement that raises Sponsorship for all local Leagues, either through direct investment or through other viable tax vehicles.
President of the Republic H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo promised to take action on the various points raised by the Ghana Football Association and took the opportunity to wish the Black Stars the very best at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote D’Ivoire.