Accra, Oct. 18, GNA - Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo, Minister of Education and Sports has assured officials of the country's lesser-known sports that Ghana's right to host the 2008 African Cup of Nations would be used to improve on all sports facilities.
Ghana is building three new stadia in Tamale, Cape Coast and Essipong and would renovate the Ohene Djan and Baba Yara facilities in Accra and Kumasi respectively to host the bi-annual soccer showpiece. Mr Osafo Marfo was officially welcoming the national hockey teams (male and Female) back from Pretoria, South Africa, where they won silver and bronze medals respectively at this year's African Hockey Cup of Nations.
The female team lost 1-6 to host, South Africa in the finals, while their male counterparts beat neighbours Nigeria 2-0 to win bronze. The minister promised the team a water-based hockey pitch but asked officials to look for a suitable location for the facility to be sited. He charged experts to workout modalities in order "that we can do something that would be internationally acceptable". Mr Osafo Marfo said there is always a correlation between success and three basic cardinal principles- discipline, commitment and team spirit- urging the teams, "it's not enough to be good but you must play as a team".
Mr Oko Nii Koi Dzani, Chairman of the Ghana Hockey Association, said provision of modern facility was key to achieving good results. He said once the facilities were in place, no matter where the potentials were, they would be identified and harnessed. The Chairman was full of praise to the Ministry saying, that it was the first time such a support has been extended to hockey. The minister announced a planned cocktail party for the 52-man contingent at a date yet to be announced.