Accra, Aug. 27, GNA - Parlays Biscuit Ghana Limited on Wednesday gave Ghana juvenile soccer (Colts Football) its first league sponsorship of 150 million cedis at a ceremony in Accra.
The Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) and the Ghana Football Association (GFA) are to beef up the amount with one per cent and one-and-half per cent respectively from their share of the net proceeds from the gate fees of Premier League matches.
Mr Mathew Doe, Vice Chairman of the Ghana Juvenile Football Association who announced the package in Accra said talks are underway to lobby Parlays to increase the money.
The money is to cater for officiating fees of the 12 colts clubs from the under-12 through to under-17 levels plus the cost of photographs for registration.
Mr Doe underscored the point that colts' football is the bedrock of Ghana football development and urged the GFA to graft the juvenile programme into its five-year development plan.
He called for substantial support from the GFA and corporate bodies for colts clubs, which are "patrons of the five-year programme." Mr Ben Koufie, Chairman of the GFA noted that any association, which does not pay attention to its youth development programme, is an "association in transit."
He reiterated that no country's soccer can thrive without due attention to the nurturing and development its youth programme which is the bedrock of success at the senior level.
Mr Koufie said colts' football has over the years, over-relied on philanthropists for its development adding, "football has taken a new dimension and can no longer rely on individuals for its progress." He regretted that most Ghanaians are conservatives who only focus on premier league football at the expense of juvenile soccer and the national teams.
The GFA Chairman noted that it is only when the national teams fail to deliver that the spot light is put on them for a period. He said it is not always true that a country that runs a competitive league always does well at the international level. The Chairman cited the Spanish Liga, Italian Serie A and the Barclay Card Premiership in the UK as very competitive but which do not reflect in the out put of their national teams, adding that at the international level, "Brazil and other countries (apparent reference to France) are ahead of them."
He called on all stakeholders to do a lot more to redefine and reshape the country's passion, as the only way for a brighter future.
Mr Koufie announced that the second phase of the inter-district youth competition under the five-year development plan will involve colts clubs. 27 Aug. 27, 2003.