Sunday, May 10, 2009

Another Fifa baby

For three days in the past week, football persons have been locked up in a healthy banter over Ghana's future football direction.

Ghana successfully ended the three-day Com-Unity seminar, a presidential initiative sponsored by Fifa which gathered various football stakeholders to deliberate on the values of the sport on Thursday.

Radio France Internationale's (RFI) correspondent David Hatton was on my show, Sports World that runs on on Atlantis radio, and he extolled the virtues of Ghana and punctuated his statements by saying that "Ghana is in the good books of Fifa."

That may be true.

The session was aimed at developing grassroots football and participation. At the end of the stakeholders meeting, the consensus was that the hard work begins now if further progress was to be made for a nation so dominant in football both at the seniors and junior levels.

Participants exchanged frank views and agreed that the event provided the catalyst to augment the FA's four-year development plan.

Kwesi Nyantakyi, President of the Ghana Football Association admits that the country has learned fresh lessons from Fifa's Com-Unity seminar held in Accra.

The FA President says the first steps of further broadening the relationship between the sport body and the Ghana's footballing community has already started.

"This event has met my expectation. All issues were adequately addressed by the team of experts drawn from here (Ghana) and brought by Fifa.

"I believe Ghana got the best out of this seminar which has lived up to its billing.

The Ghana Football Association says its vision is to re-energise the development of grassroots football. The Com-Unity brought together Ghana's footballing officials, government, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), education officers, the media and sponsors.

Ghana's sports minister, Mohammed Mubarak Muntanka was full of praise for Fifa's efforts to bring the seminar, the first of its kind in West Africa to Ghana.

"We would seek further co-operations to develop the game and would always make ourselves available to hold such important seminars."

Fifa experts including Avry Yvon Azmel Marie, Colin Udoh and Kalusha Bwalya all made valuable contributions.

Kalusha Bwalya, who represented Fifa President, Sepp Blatter told the Ghanaian side that the real business of attaining success begins now.

"The beginning of the real work starts now. The grassroots needs much more attention if the country wants to reach the top."

You're right, Mr. Bwalya.