Speech Delivered By GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi After Re-election
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen
Members of the Executive Committee of the GFA, Distinguished Delegates, Club Presidents, Directors and CEOs, Distinguished invited guests, friends of the media, Ladies & Gentlemen.
The highest decision making body in Ghana football, the Congress, has spoken resoundingly, and I’m humbled by the trust and confidence that you, my friends in Ghana football, have reposed in me. I will always be grateful to you for the unwavering support you have given me since I became President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) in December 2005. I want to say – thank you.
I’m happy and proud to lead such an amazing football federation of people of all walks of life in Ghana, all shades of opinion and from every part of the country.
The trust you have in me comes with a duty to serve all members of the Association and I will do my best to fulfil that responsibility without fear or favour, without discrimination and with the sole objective of upholding the statutes and regulations of the GFA.
A new term in office is a new opportunity to build on the huge successes we have chalked over the past ten years including but not limited to three successive appearances at the World Cup and Africa’s only U20 World Cup title. A new term in office also gives us the chance to fix our shortcomings and set new milestones to put the game on a stronger footing in Ghana.
Regardless of our differences, when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the successes we can achieve.
And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with you to meet the challenges that Ghana football faces today and I believe we can solve this together.
As part of our ongoing efforts to expand the interest and participation rate in women’s football as well as to develop the footballing skills of girls from a young age, we will establish the
LIVE YOUR GOALS CAMPAIGN for girls in schools and communities.
Womens football couldn’t have attained its current stature without the sacrifices of distinguished women such as Lenier Addy , Helena Cobbina and Abiba Ata just to mention a few. Incidentally today marks the birthday of Madam Abiba Ata. Let’s see you Madam…. Congratulations to you and Happy Birthday.
In addition, we will tap into the expertise of the big women football countries on the implementation of a long-term plan aimed at enhancing the development of women’s football in Ghana. We will continue to work hard and raise both the level of interest and standards in girls’ and women’s football as we strive to be the best in Africa.
We will continue with our new measures of improving the colts leagues and youth football like the free training courses for coaches of colts clubs while encouraging Premier and Division One League clubs to entrench themselves into the U17 leagues to churn out more talents.
The burgeoning football academies in the country will be supported to grow as they are also providing exciting new talents for the country.
In the coming months we will start the process of getting the Ghanaman Soccer Centre of Excellence operational to ensure that our national U17 players are honed at the academy in Prampram from an early age.
Make no mistake: this project will be capital intensive but we will strive to seek the sources of funding to carry out this essential project for the development of the next batch of talents.
The full implementation of the Club Licensing System for clubs in the top two tiers of Ghana football will help raise the standards in all aspects of the game. We will also explore insurance and pension schemes for players in the local league – a measure that will encourage players to stay longer to play in our local leagues.
We will place special emphasis on improving spectatoring for our leagues which have been severely affected by this Africa-wide problem of the invasion of foreign football on our television, among other factors. The clubs must play a key role in the strategic measures we will adopt to ensure that we stem this tide and revive local interest.
The media has also got a big stake in this because if they join in promoting the local league far and above the foreign leagues their business will thrive the more. We will strive to offer more support to Ghanaian clubs participating in the CAF inter club competitions.
The national teams will continue to be the vehicle for promoting unity among Ghanaians and promoting the brand of Ghana globally. We will not relent in making our national teams among the best in Africa and the world through our excellent partnership and support from government. Over the past ten years our national teams – both male and female have qualified for their respective World Cup competitions.
The Black Stars remain Ghana’s flagship brand thanks to the stability we have brought over the past ten years. Hardly can you find a senior national team of a country in Africa that has been stable for ten years. We have achieved that and as recent as six months ago we reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. We will build on this stability to enable us compete at the highest level and win trophies with our exciting young players coming through.
Going forward, the GFA will continue to support and work closely with all aspects of our game by giving more training to administrators, coaches, referees, medics and the media to fulfil our footballing objectives. Over the past ten years we have offered more opportunities to former footballers than ever before through such training programmes. Former footballers now have the chance of working with clubs and national teams than ever before.
The development of football infrastructure will be key in my third term in office. We will construct good pitches up and down the country.
We are also finalising an endowment fund for former players of the national team who were not blessed with the riches of professional footballers of today to ensure that they live decent lives.
We believe that football can be used for good causes and we will use players of our national teams to promote causes for the general good of the people of Ghana and for the less privileged in our society.
In my next term I will like us to strengthen the capacity of our hardworking staff, members of the executive committee and members of our committees though raining and competitive compensation schemes.
I want to pass on a federation that’s effective, respected and admired around the world for our achievements both on and off the field – and as we have seen in recent times several federations in Africa have come here to learn how football is administered. They are attracted to Ghana football because of the achievements of our national teams, our clubs, the quality and competence of our officials who serve CAF and FIFA in various capacities.
We will also consider plans to build the Association into a robust and resilient body with a well supported and rejuvenated regional branch network. Reaching these goals will require the broad support of Ghanaians. So today I want to speak to every person whether you supported my candidacy or not: To make Ghana a stronger football country, I will need your support, and I promise I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do, to deserve your trust.
Finally, I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to our stakeholders, including the fans, clubs, sponsors, government agencies, media, volunteers and everyone in this room for the commitment and hard work towards the development of Ghana football in recent years.
The growth and progress of football would not have been possible without your efforts and continued support, and I am thankful to each and every one of you.
The time for football politics has ended and now the real hard work begins with the vision of bringing laurels and cheers to the hearts of Ghanaians with victories on the football pitch.
Thank you and God bless you.