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20.05.2006 Football News

Goldfields to rally Ghanaians behind Stars

By GNA

Owning to lack of total support of Ghanaians behind the senior national team, the Black Stars towards the up-coming World Cup, Goldfields Ghana Limited, the headline sponsors of the team has launched a drive to galvanize total support for the team before the tournament starts.

The campaign dubbed "Believe in it" will take the form of Television footages of Black Stars qualifying matches accompanied by a song by the American musician, Whitney Housten, "When you believe". Goldfields at the ceremony also unveiled a special package of five billion cedis for the Black Stars towards the up-coming World Cup, where the Stars are making their maiden appearance after years of failed attempts.

Mr. Tony Aubyn, the Corporate Affairs Manager of the mining firm said the campaign and the special additional package is to help unify the nation behind the team whilst motivating the players to give off their best for the country.

He said that the special package which is the biggest offered the Stars so far is as a result of the special bond that exists between the team and the company and the level of transparency exhibited by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) during the African Cup of Nations held in Egypt.

"We were surprised that the GFA returned to us monies that were not used during the tournament after the Stars dropped out in the first round, but this time around we are hoping that none of the monies will be returned to chest as the Stars will go all the way to the finals". Mr Aubyn said so far the company has spent about Nine billion cedis on the Stars and it would have been more had the team progressed that far in the just ended African Cup of Nations.

Mr Alan Ashworth, the new Managing Director of the Company who took office in March said even though he was not in Ghana when his company signed the three year, three million dollar deal with the GFA last year, he is happy that the company=92s support for the team has helped revive the fortunes of the team.

"We in Goldfields have always deemed it a honour and great privilege to be the first corporate body in Ghana to bring this form of direct support financially to the Black Stars.

"I believe all Ghanaians are particularly pleased with the outcome of our sponsorship, which no doubt has contributed significantly to the maiden qualification of Ghana to the World Cup".

Mr Ashworth said it is the goal of his company to build the capacity of the team at all levels in order to aid its effort to excel at all levels with the ultimate target of performing well at the World Cup and eventually winning the CAN 2008 which Ghana play as host. Mr O. B. Amoah, Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sport who received the package thanked Goldfields for their support which he said played a big role in the Stars qualification to their first World Cup after ten failed attempts.

He said at the beginning of the qualifying series, "we identified a key factor as the pool of talented players, hence all that was needed was the necessary funding from a credible source to assist in executing the vision of preparing the team towards their qualifying for the World Cup".

For the company=92s effort, the Deputy Minister conferred on Goldfields the title 91Prime Partners in Soccer Development=92 adding that he hoped that the partnership between the GFA and Goldfields will grow from strength to strength.

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