SONA 2018: Sports under review

The State of the Nation’s address has in many years shed very little light on sports development in the country and the president’s address on Thursday was no different.

He outlined the need to renovate the Accra Sports Stadium, which has been beaten badly after several years of neglect and a proper maintenance culture.

The Stadium was redone ahead of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations but the constant neglect meant that several parts of the facility have been left to rot. The scoreboard is dysfunctional, the washrooms are deplorable and the VIP sitting area looks almost like a death trap.

But if the President, the sector minister and the board chairman of the National Sports Authority’s words are anything to go by, then the stadium will have a facelift.

In many ways the Stadium’s renovation is down to an acceptance as a country to host the upcoming Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

With the country’s main stadium as one of the venues, it has become increasingly necessary that it gets a change in how it looks at the moment.

In addition to the rehabilitation of the Stadium, President Nana Akufo-Addo mentioned the provision of pitches across Zongos, and the country in general, to promote youth football development.

Colts football has been an area in our game that has cried for help for many years. It is a system through which many players who dazzled many in the 80’s and 90’s came through. Players like Sammy Osei Kuffour, Christian Sabah, Sam Johnson, Abedi Pele and Tony Yeboah (who were given special mentions by the president) all started playing on the streets and successfully came through this system.

Now defunct, colt football has been targeted by the president for revival with the help of the Ghana Football Association and the Ministry of Youth and Sports by building pitches across the country and particularly in Zongos.

Ghana is a country abound in talent. Across the length and breadth of our country, young players come through the sport everyday.

Some falling off the ladder due to lack of support and others trundling their way slowly to the top mainly due to a tough upbringing or no form of leadership from the start.

It has become increasingly important to bring back what worked for us before and make it better.

The President touched on just the two areas in football without any mention for boxing even though 2018 has been one of the busiest starts to the years for boxers in the country.

No mention for athletics even though there is a Commonwealth Games to attend later this year.

But in all, we at least commend the top officials for hearing our plea to renovate the Accra Sports Stadium.

By Yaw Ofosu Larbi||Ghana

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