Accra, Jan 27, GNA - The government of Ghana is aware of the implications of falling behind the deadline for the construction and updating of facilities for the Cup of African Nations (CAN) 2008 which bid she has won to host and would do everything possible to get all the infrastructure in place for the competition.
Mr Rashid Bawa, acting Minister of State responsible for Education and Sports told the GNA Sports on Thursday that, "a lot of work is going on and very soon real construction work will start to ensure that Ghana will not lose the chance to host the competition."
He said the list of companies bidding to construct the new stadia and rehabilitate those in Accra and Kumasi has increased from the original eight to 17 and that only the most competent and capable firms would be charged with the responsibility so that the work would be completed on schedule.
The acting minister said a Local Organising Committee had been established and numerous sub committees would soon be constituted to tackle the various segmented issues related to the African football carnival.
He said information he gathered through consultations with experts in the construction business showed that a competent company would be able to complete the construction of a stadium within two and a half years and that was enough reassurance that everything would be on schedule.
Mr Bawa said while attention would soon be focused on the development of the venues, emphases must also be placed on the development of the Black Stars so that Ghana would have a very solid team to participate in the championship and win at home.
He said to achieve that objective the team must be kept very busy while thorough monitoring of all Ghanaian players is done to ensure that new talents are injected into the team as they gel so that the best eleven players will always be on the field in every match.
"With the sparkling form being shown by the Starlets and the level of discipline the players have acquired under coach David Duncan, most of the young players can progress to the senior national team in due course and emulate Ronaldinho, who played at the Under 17 level in Egypt in 1997 and was crowned the world's best seven years later."
The minister said the hosting of CAN 2008 would benefit the generality of Ghanaians, as it would open up business opportunities for many people and allow an inflow of foreign exchange to the country. He called on every Ghanaian to contribute his or her quota to ensure that Ghana hosted the championship and successfully too.