Accra, Jan. 19, GNA - Areeba, Ghana's number one mobile phone network, on Thursday sponsored 100 of its core loyal subscribers, including four journalists to Egypt to support and motivate the Black Stars at the African Cup of Nations tournament, which begins on Friday. The package, which spans between January 19 and February 2, 2006, includes air tickets, hotel accommodation, tickets to watch the matches, transportation from their hotels to the stadium and back as well as 200 US dollars pocket money.
Part of the package include a life and health insurance during the period of the tournament and site seeing to some of Egypt's exquisite tourists and historic sites.
The lucky 100 were presented with the package at the Areeba Branch office at Osu, from where they moved to the Kotoka International Airport to embark on the trip to Egypt.
Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Deputy Minister of Sports who made the presentation, praised Areeba for its continuous support for the development of sports in the country.
He urged the supporters not to use the opportunity to go only on site seeing or to mis-conduct themselves or engage in their personal business but to comport themselves and ensure that they cheer the Stars to victory.
Mr Amoah announced that the Ministry had specifically earmarked some seed money to sponsor cheer groups from Ghana to Germany. He said a platform had also been created for local cheer groups and their Ghanaian counterparts in Germany to collaborate and form one strong cheer squad to motivate the team.
Mr Thomas Sowah, Head of Public Relations, Areeba, told the GNA Sports that the company was willing and able to sponsor the live free-on-air telecast of the matches for the Ghanaian public but unfortunately they were denied the opportunity to do so.
"We therefore decided to sponsor the 100 people to Egypt as a way of compensating the public for not bringing the matches live to them." He said the 100 were selected at random from thousands of its core loyal subscribers on both the post-paid and prepaid system, adding that there was a short-listing process before the random selection.
Asked as to what criteria was used in determining the core loyal subscribers, Mr Sowah said they comprised subscribers who had been on the network for a long period of time and those who recharge their units frequently.