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01.01.2003 Sports News

Politicisation of sports by sports minister

By JOY ONLINE
Politicisation of sports by sports minister
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Youth and Sports Minister Edward Osei Kweku says anyone assessing the Ghana’s sporting performance in the past year should take into consideration the poor state of infastructure that the current New Patriotic Party government inherited from the Natinal Democratic Congress. In a classical politicisation of sports, Osei Kweku said the NPP gorvenment of which he is a member met sports facilities in a poor state after twenty years of NDC rule which makes winning honours at major competition almost impossible. “We still use tartan trucks, there are no gyms. Basicall facilities are almost nonexistent. Whoever speaks about the past year should take that into consideration.” The minister was answering questions on JOYFM’s Sports Update on his assessment of a year in which Ghana failed as always to win major honours on the international stage. A contingent of athletes, boxers, badminton players and weightlifters returned from the Commonwealth Games in Manchster with only one bronze medal won by 20-year old hepthatlate Magaret Simpson. Ghana returned from the Africa Athletics championships with two silver medals in the 100 and 200 meters by Aziz Zakari while Simpson won gold in the same event. Meanwhile, the senior national team the Black Stars could only manage a quarter final place at the African Cup of Nations. That competition inspired the Sports Minister in more ways than one. It convinced him that Ghana should bid to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 1998. “I was in Mali where one of the poorest countries on the continent put together the nations cup with five new stadiums and several housing units. I say this with no disrespect to Mali but if they counld do it Ghana can do it better” he said. Osei Kweku said his administration has demonstrated a “systematic and well thought of approach to sports development”. He added: “I am not blowing my own horn but I have done things in the last year that no other minister of sports has done since independence”.

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