24.03.2001 Sports News

Suspend All International Tournaments for a Year- Baba

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Mr Benson T. Baba, President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, on Thursday urged sports authorities to suspend all international competitions for a year and channel the resources into the provision of some basic facilities for the country's sportsmen and women.

He said much as he agrees that this might not go down well with a lot of people, "it is necessary for everybody at a point in life to make sacrifices for a brighter future of which sports is no exception".

Mr Baba told the GNA sports in an interview in Accra that it is obvious that the government budgetary allocation cannot cater for rehabilitation of the facilities in all the 10 regions let alone contract new ones.

He is of the view that if the various disciplines under the national sports council including football would be prepared to forego such international engagements no matter their importance for a year the monies could be used to provide at least tartan tracks for Ghanaian athletes.

The GOC president cited the example of the Ghanaian athletes who were sent home at the Sydney Olympics for not making the required grade, saying that if the tartan tracks at the Accra and Kumasi Stadiums were good the athletes would have had their final trials here and qualified people selected.

Asked whether the GOC could appeal to the IOC for instance to help relay the tracks, Mr Baba said it is up to the Ghana Amateur Athletics Association to write through the Africa Amateur Athletics Association to the IAAA for assistance just as the Ghana Hockey Association did.

He said the GOC only comes in when asked by IOC to give a covering letter for approval.

Mr Baba said provisions of infrastructure fall under the ambit of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Sports Council but occasionally the GOC could give a helping hand.

He said at the moment, the GOC is working out a plan to replace the dilapidated table tennis boards at the Sports Hall of the Accra Sports Stadium.

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