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Opinions of Sunday, 29 June 2014

Columnist: Kwapong, Ohene Aku

I give this speech on behalf of the President of Ghana

Ohene Aku Kwapong

It is difficult to repair the pride of a nation that has unnecessarily been bruised and even more difficult to repair a lost trust when we all witness events that create unworthy news for us on the world stage. So, I offer this speech which I believe a nation would have appreciated from its President.

"My fellow citizens, I come to you this evening to thank you, on behalf of our cherished Blackstars, for the unqualified support you've shown them throughout the 2014 World Cup.

As your president, and on behalf of the nation, I also want to thank the team for giving us their best effort in representing Ghana. We have asked the best of you and we appreciate what you gave.

In the 2010 World Cup, the Blackstars made the country proud, lifting our expectations and our collective desire, as a nation, to take our rightful place on the international soccer stage. I know we can because we have a pool of 25 million Ghanaians to do this.

Unfortunately, the 2014 World Cup has seen as take a step back. I would have liked to see the team surpass the last achievement in South Africa 2010. For reasons not yet known to me, there seem to have been several events that became distractions for the entire nation. These can only be symptoms of yet unidentified challenges that seem to have made the team less prepared than befits the great traditions we all represent.

There also seems to have been a total breakdown in responsibility with regard to the process through which players are compensated. This created a lost trust that necessitated my having to get involved, rather unfortunately. Airlifting physical cash to pay commitments to our boys is not how we run our country. We cannot afford, as a country, to run our affairs as such, putting our sons and daughters at risk to be mugged.

I am disappointed at these turn of events and have therefore asked for the resignations of the deputy ministers of sports. I have also ordered the immediate dissolution of the Ghana Football Association and have asked my Chief of Staff, the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader in Parliament to lead a 3-member committee to come up with recommendations within 30days. People create problems and it takes people to solve problems. It is my belief that the GFA needs to be restructured and the entire management of football operations reorganised to create the conditions to rebuild the trust of a nation. We can do better.

Again, thanks to every member of the Blackstars for well-deserved effort and thank you all for an amazing effort. We have lessons to learn and I promise you this opportunity will not be squandered.

Thank you and God bless our homeland Ghana.".