Accra, April 7, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Wednesday urged the business community to support the Black Stars with attractive sponsorship packages to motivate it to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. Inaugurating a Committee to manage the affairs of the team towards the June qualifying matches, the Vice President said Ghanaians could help in diverse ways to strengthen the senior national team to participate in the most prestigious soccer competition.
Alhaji Mahama said, "There is no doubt that this enterprise deserves the unalloyed support of all true sons and daughters of Ghana because the success of the Black Stars has the potential of stimulating a revival of our national spirit and rejuvenation of our national pride."
"You are assured of the support of Government in this all important assignment," he added.
Vice President Mahama stressed that it was unacceptable that the Black Stars had never qualified for the World Cup in spite of the sterling performance of many Ghanaian soccer professionals at the international level.
He attributed the situation to poor strategic planning, inadequate logistics support, insufficient financial provisions, inadequate technical supervision, lack of commitment and motivation for the players among others. He, therefore, tasked the Committee members to use their expertise, ingenuity and experiences to transform the fortunes of the senior national team to achieve the desired results.
The Committee, chaired by Mr Kojo Quarshie, has Mr W. Abra-Appiah as the Vice-Chairman, Mr Fred Pappoe as Secretary, Mr O.B. Amoah as assistant Secretary and Mr Karl Tufuor as spokesperson.
Mr Sam Arday, Mr Oheneba Charles Nyarko, Major Retired Don-Chebe, Mr Victor Ahiakpor, the Chairman of the Ghana Football Association and Alhaji Ibrahim Sunday are members.
Mr Kwadwo Baah- Wiredu, Minister of Education Youth and Sports told the members to identify the weaknesses that had robbed the Black Stars of success at the highest level and use the strengths and opportunities available to break the jinx.
"Research and anticipation would be your asset," he added. The Minister said it was possible for the Black Stars to achieve its aim as the other national teams had been able to achieve the feat, with the Starlets, the under 17 team winning the World Cup in 1991 and 1995 at their levels.
Mr Quarshie accepted the challenge on behalf of his colleagues and pledged to do their best and called for the support of the sporting public. The qualifying series begin in June with the Black Stars competing against Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Uganda, South Africa and DR Congo.