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General News of Monday, 12 July 1999

Source: JoyFM

Stadia probe report condemned

The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) has described the Tagoe Committee's report on the Accra and Kumasi Stadia probe as time wasting and an insult on the intelligence of most Ghanaians.

Mr. Joe Aggrey, the SWAG president, called for the rejection of the report by the appointing authorities. He made this call at the 24th annual SWAG-ABC awards night at which 18 sportsmen and women were honoured in their various sporting fields at the Banquet hall of the States house in Accra.

Raymond Narh, the only Ghanaian gold medallist at last year's Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, grabbed the highest award of the 1998 sportsman of the year. Mr. Aggrey described the report as "worthless document not fit to be taken seriously by any serious-minded persons".

The Tagoe Committee was set up by the Vice president J. E. A Mills last February following public outcry over the alleged illegal ward of contract for the rehabilitation of the two stadiums for the 11th African U-20 soccer championship staged in Ghana.

Touching on the Black Queens, he said their participation at the third FIFA women's World cup should mark the beginning of bigger things to come for not only women's soccer but also of the men. Mr. Aggrey expressed the hope that this would break the long standing jinx for the Black Stars to join the elite sports nations for the 2000 World Cup to be staged by Japan and South Korea.

"Success will only come if we change our way of doing things from the adhocism and crash programmes to well-defined strategy and above all being more professional and honest in our attitudes in order to lay the right foundation for the goal we aspire to". He said the soccer authorities shall have to look at a more scientific way of developing the game and suggested that the schools could be a good breeding ground for talent if the game is to have a firmer foundation.

He said that the Black Stars by virtue of their qualification to co-host next year's African Cup of Nations have not been participating in the qualifying series, adding that unless plans have been drawn to keep them busy, they might be caught "pants down" when the tournament begins. The SWAG president called for the need to help popularize women soccer.

Nana Kwasi Gyan the III, a retired footballer, who was the guest of honour, touched on a wide range of subjects including a national pension scheme for retired footballers, scholarships for young sportsmen and general welfare of the sportsmen. He called on the government to appoint a more dynamic and efficient sports administrators to run the Ghana Football Association and said there is the need for the government to supports the various national teams financially in international assignments.

The awards night was jointly sponsored the Ghana Brewery Limited and the State Insurance Corporation. In attendance was the Marriots International Band.