Work is set to begin on the $500,000 office complex of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) following the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the facility in Accra yesterday.
The 15-room complex, which will also have a 150-seater conference room, will comfortably accommodate the entire staff of the GFA, and allow simultaneous sittings of the various sub-committees of the association.
The project is being funded jointly by FIFA and the GFA, the two bodies providing $400,000 and $100,000 respectively.
The amount from the world football governing body is Ghana's share of the FIFA Goal Two Project, a facility granted nations upon judicious use of initial funds for Goal One Project.
The GFA committed funds for the Goal One Project into the construction of the Soccerman School of Excellence, a kind of sports complex, at Prampram in the Greater Accra Region, which will become a clubhouse for national teams during their camping days in Ghana.
After inspection and assessment and upon satisfying itself of the proper and judicious use of the Goal One Project funds, FIFA granted Ghana funds for the Goal Two Project.
The GFA is, however, the second football association in Africa to be chosen and handed funds for the Goal Two Project. The only other association to access the facility is Cape Verde, incidentally one of Ghana's opponents in the Africa World Cup qualifiers.
At yesterday's ceremony, the Minister of Education and Sports, Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, who was assisted by the President of the Congress of the GFA, Justice A.K.B. Ampiah, to lay the foundation stone, expressed gratitude to FIFA for trusting in Ghana's football development programme and assisting the nation to improve its football facilities.
He praised the GFA for its judicious use of funds released for the Goal One Project and for which reason Ghana has earned the Goal Two Project, too.
GFA Management Board member and Chairman of the CAN 2008 Organising Committee, Dr. Kofi Amoah, said the project is a big boost to the development of facilities and general infrastructure for Ghana football.
Acting GFA Chairman, Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi, remained grateful to FIFA for its assistance for the project and also pledged to supervise that the funds are used for the desired project.
He urged the football family to remain united in order to reap more of such benefits in their collective operations.
FIFA Development Officer in charge of West Africa, Sampon Kablan, said FIFA believed in Ghana's development programme, hence the willingness to hand the country the Goal Two Project.
The project, which will be built just near the present premises of the GFA at Ridge in Accra, is just the latest manifestation of recent successes of the present GFA Management Board.
Until recently, the GFA used the rented premises of the Civil Servants Association as its offices and only moved to their present site, practically the GFA's own building, at the initiative of the present administration.
The present GFA, through a combination of factors, also provided the atmosphere and other incentives, including the hiring of Serbian coach, Ratomir Dujkovic, which enabled the Black Stars to qualify for Ghana's maiden appearance at the senior football World Cup in Germany next June.
The Black Stars' appearance at the World Cup alone has guaranteed the GFA at least $3 million, with $1 million expected anytime soon towards the preparation of the team for the mundial.