Accra, Oct 26, GNA - Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports has assured officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) that his ministry has no intention of interfering in any activity in the build up to the World Cup soccer fiesta.
"I am a career politician with my clearly stated responsibilities and you as administrators and coaches have you own duties therefore it will be morally wrong for me to leave my job and dabble in your activities".
Mr Osafo-Maafo made this comments during the sod cutting ceremony of a 500,000 dollar new three storey administrative block for the GFA, which is being constructed with the assistance of FIFA under its Goal Project 2.
The Minister said he is grateful to be part of a ceremony to lay the foundation for the project since it will be significant in the development of sports in the country.
He commended the GFA for the able manner in which it handled the FIFA Goal Project 1, which stimulated the soccer world soccer controlling body to grant them the funds under the Goal Project 2. Mr Osafo-Maafo said, "Ghana is gradually but surely taking its rightful place among the elites of the game and the qualification to the World Cup is ample proof of how far the nation has come".
The Minister said he has great confidence in the current crop of players that form the Black Stars and is sure that the team will qualify as tops from the group in the next Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. "From there, we will proceed to the World Cup to make our mark in fulfilment of the prophesy made by Roger Miller, the legendary Cameroonian footballer that the world will only see the African magic after Ghana qualifies for the World Cup".
In an opening address, Dr Kofi Amoah, a member of the management board of the GFA commended Mr Sampson Kablan, the FIFA Development Officer for West Africa describing him as a true son of Africa and a great friend of Ghana.
He said it was on his watch that Ghana was recommended for the Goal One Project, which today has been transformed into the Ghanaman Centre of Excellence.
Dr Amoah promised that the GFA would continue to work closely with him to make sure that FIFA's effort for Ghana yields fruits and bear the seeds that will help grow the game of soccer across the length and breadth of the country.
Mr Sampson Kablan congratulated the GFA, the government and people of Ghana for qualifying to next year's World Cup.
He said the completion of the project would yield the desired result that would move the nation's football forward.
The Minister accompanied by Mr Kablan and Justice Ato Ampiah, President of the GFA Congress later assisted in laying some of the blocks for the structure which when completed would have a 150-seater conference room and 15 room offices.
FIFA as apart of its efforts to develop football infrastructure in its affiliated associations, gives 400,000 dollars from a development fund dubbed the "Goal Project Fund".
FIFA under the agreement is expected to contribute the usual 400,000 dollars it gives to a country that qualifies for the Goal Project II with the GFA providing the remaining 100,000 dollars. Ghana has already benefited from the FIFA Goal Project One that was used to build an 800,000-dollar "Ghanaman Soccer School of Excellence" at Prampram in the Dangbe West District.
In the "Goal Project 1", the government of Ghana contributed 226,000 dollars in the form of already existing structures at Prampram with the GFA providing 174,000 dollars in addition to the FIFA Goal Project fund of 400,000 dollars.