Accra, Mar. 21, GNA - The Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Monday signed a 27 billion-cedi sponsorship deal with Goldfields Ghana Limited and its affiliate, Abosso Goldfields to cater for the needs of the senior national team, the Black Stars, for a three-year period. The package includes payment of the coach's monthly salary of 10,000 dollars, match fees and bonuses as well as meeting team's transport and accommodation expenses.
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports signed for Ghana (GFA) while Brendan Walker, Managing Director of the mining company initialled for his outfit at a ceremony in Accra.
In addition, Goldfields Ghana Limited is arranging for a sponsorship to kit the Stars before Ghana's next World Cup qualifier (in June) after their engagement with DR Congo on Sunday, March 27.
The two parties are yet to finalise an agreement to govern the sponsorship, which will include provision for managing the funds to ensure transparency and comply with the company's corporate governance principles.
When concluded, Goldfields Ghana limited and its affiliate, Abosso, will become the Stars' major sponsors while Guinness Ghana Limited, which has been donating to the national team over the past years, will become "a donor" or a partner.
According to Mr Walker, the purpose of the deal is to build capacity within the national team in order to aid its effort to excel at all levels with the ultimate target of both qualifying for and performing well in the World Cup and winning the African Nations Cup to be staged in Ghana in 2008.
He said the package formed part of the company's social responsibility to assist local communities.
The deal was a follow-up to an earlier promise made by the Chairman of the mining company, Chris Thompson, last year, when he visited President John Agyekum Kufuor that the company was planning to sponsor soccer in the country.
Mr Osafo-Maafo described the sponsorship package as historic, right timing and a moral booster to the team.
He said with this, all that Ghana needed was to harness her talents to achieve the topmost glory in the sport.
The minister expressed the hope that sports would be used as a tool for building consensus and reconciling the nation.