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14.06.2004 Football News

Ghana will not let Africa down - Aliu

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Accra, June 14, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama, on Monday, gave the assurance that Ghana would put in every effort to host a successful tournament when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) approves her bid to host the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

"Ghana is ready, this is our time", he stated. "We will embrace the opportunity and work hard towards our agenda to make Africa proud when we receive CAF's approval. We shall not disappoint you," he told the three-member inspection team of CAF.

The team, led by Mr Patrick Okpomo called on the Vice President at the castle Osu, after completing its inspection of sites and facilities relevant to Ghana's hosting of the prestigious event.

Vice President Mahama told the team that: "Football is a passion in Ghana. Indeed, it can be described as a religion and the Government has a strong commitment to ensure that we host the event. The other members of the CAF Inspection team who inspected the Accra and Kumasi Sports Stadiums and some hotels and hospitals in the cities were Dr Adnan El Guindi and Dr Walter Gagg, a representative of FIFA.

The team also visited Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale where they inspected the proposed sites for the construction of the new 20,000 capacity stadium complexes and held discussions with the Regional Ministers and Metropolitan Chief Executives.

They also held discussions with Mr Kwadwo Baah - Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ministerial Task Force on Ghana's Bid.

Ghana is to renovate the Accra and Kumasi Sports Stadiums for the tournament as well the construction of the two new stadiums to be at Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale.

The models for the new stadiums have already been completed and were unveiled last Tuesday.

Vice President Mahama expressed the country's commitment to provide excellent facilities and services for the tournament.

"Our commitment will be reinforced by the calibre of high level delegation we will send to CAF on July 8, when the decision will be made," he remarked.

Mr Okpomo said the team was impressed with the facilities on the ground and was confident that Ghana would honour her promise of further upgrading them.

"We are happy with the standard of the facilities we have seen so far, we have seen a lot of commitment from the Government and a strong will from the people on the ground," he observed.

"When these are put together, it will lead to a successful tournament and we will put this before CAF."

Dr Gagg said the team was convinced that Ghana would be a wonderful organizer, adding, "You have a wonderful commitment and a strong passion for the game."

Libya remains Ghana's competitor for the bid after South Africa pulled out of the challenge.

Mr Baah-Wiredu, Dr Kofi Amoah, Chairman of the Bid Committee for the 2008 African Cup of Nations, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamaklo, Chairman of the Ghana Football Association and other members of the Committee were at the meeting.

Hosting of the Nation's Cup is expected to boost Ghana's performance and image in the soccer world and bring along a cash injection of between 100 million to 150 million dollars into the infrastructure development of the country's soccer facilities, which has been starved of such investment for a long time. 14 June 04

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