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22.02.2006 Football News

First biannual Football Expo launched

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Accra, Feb 22, GNA - The First Accra Biannual Football Expo aimed at redefining the commercial value of football has been launched with a call to Ghanaians not to under estimate the benefits of the game to the economy of Ghana.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr O. B. Amoah, Deputy Minister of Education and Sport said, "we are all witnesses to the tremendous exposure the country is currently enjoying from the exploits of its footballers scattered across the length and breadth of the globe" "He said their excellent performances and portrayals have indeed brought home various sums of money to improve the lot of their families in particular and the national economy in general". Mr Amoah said Ghanaian footballers beside the inflow of remittances into the country, have helped provide infrastructure, whilst some have even ventured into real estate development.

He promised the support of the government for such brilliant ideas that are aimed at creating wealth and reducing unemployment since they have the potential of becoming the spring board for the setting up of factories and business for the production of sports kits locally. Mr Amoah said the football industry should never be looked at from one dimension but rather should be looked at as an industry with multi faceted outlets ranging from football goods, apparels, marketing firms, sponsorship and the media that it creates.

He said with Ghana preparing feverishly towards the CAN 2008 and the prestigious World Cup in June, "the Football Expo could not have happened at any auspicious time than this time". The Deputy Minister said the holistic development of football in Ghana should be the prime concern of all who would take part in the Expo so that any conclusion reached at the end would rekindle and engender the transformation of the game.

Alhaji M.N.D. Jawula, former Chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) who chaired the closing function, urged the organizers to use the Expo as a tool to attract more tourists and investors into the country. The first biannual Football Expo is scheduled for March 20 - 24.