The President, John Dramani Mahama has addressed a number of issues affecting the sporting fortunes of the country in his State of the Nation address.
Speaking at the Parliament House on Thursday morning, he lamented the failure of the Black Stars to again, make it past the semi-final stage of the recent African Cup. He hearkened to the late President Mills’ charge to football authorities to take penalty issues seriously.
“What many at the time appreciated as a humorous comment turned out to be prophetic as the same problem came to haunt us at the just ended Afcon.
“Mr. Speaker, I hope that the handlers of the national team have begun undertaking the necessary postmortem in order to ensure our qualification for the World Cup in Brazil next year.”
“I request the FA and the management of the Stars to go back to the drawing board immediately and commence the building of a more formidable team that will not only qualify us for the World Cup but would surpass the achievements of predecessors of previous tournaments. ”
President Mahama also touched on youth development as a solution to the countries sporting problems and said his government would address the declining fortunes of the traditional intercollegiate games, popularly called the INTERCO.
“We are mindful of the fact that poor planning and a lack of adequate preparation can derail our efforts to qualify for and participate effectively in (the Olympics) and other competitions.”
President Mahama promised also to push concrete measures to get the best out of the country’s many talents that are left unharnessed.
“We will roll out a number of policies to unearth and develop sporting talents to feed our various national teams and these would include provision of incentives to metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies to at least establish one well-resourced sports and athletics facility in every districts.”
He also mentioned educational plans to get more talented sports persons in the school system.
“We will reserve some admissions in senior high schools for talented sportsmen and women and other creative students and other interventions.”