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21.09.2003 Sports News

Lets look elsewhere to fund sports -Dr Owusu-Ansah

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Sunyani, Sept. 21 GNA - Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, Acting Chief Executive of the National Sports Council (NSC) has noted that funding of sports has become very expensive such that the country has to look "elsewhere" for assistance.

He said the nation lacks the required sports facilities to train sportsmen and women to enable them excel at the "world stage". "Ghana is the poorest in West Africa in terms of sports facilities, which also limits our coaches to better assess our athletes before major competitions", the NSC boss said.

Dr. Owusu-Ansah expressed regret that since independence, successive governments have failed to provide sports facilities to meet international standards.

Instead, he said, the nation has been contended with the 'cosmetic dressing' of our stadia and park; calling for urgent construction of new ones to conform to international standards.

"There is no longer the need for cosmetic dressing of any of our stadia or parks and the Regional Development Officers of the Council must arrange for new plots of land for the construction of standard stadia", Dr Owusu Ansah said.

He said the Accra Sports Stadium "is pinned to the wall" in terms of expansion and provision of needed facilities and is also over-taxed in usage.

Dr. Owusu-Ansah said currently, three premier clubs share the Stadium for their home matches "and by mathematical computation, the pitch is being over-used for 1,000 hours a day, much against the normal strength for a pitch".

The NSC boss said plans are afoot to contract a loan from Italy or Germany towards sports promotion in the country.

He could not readily say how much the loan would be, but gave the assurance that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports was working assiduously to reverse the downward trend of the nation's sports.

On Ghana's position for this year's All Africa Games slated for Abuja, Nigeria in October, Dr. Owusu-Ansah said, out of the 23 disciplines, Ghana will battle for honours in only 11 due to lack of funding.

Ghana will take part in Athletics, Football, Boxing, Hockey, Handball, Judo, Tae-Kwon-Do, Karate, Table Tennis, Volleyball and Weight Lifting.

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