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Sports News of Tuesday, 22 February 2022


Lack of support hindering growth of soccer in Paga

These residents are concerned about the fate of soccer in Paga without support These residents are concerned about the fate of soccer in Paga without support

Correspondence from Upper East

The unavailability of support for soccer activities in Paga is affecting the development and enthusiasm for the sport.

Despite having the best natural pitches in the region, other important things needed for soccer development such as quality footballs, outfits, and transportation, remain a serious challenge for many football clubs in the area.

Paga, just like other towns in Ghana, sees football games as means of entertainment, promoting unity and championing development.

Over the years, authorities and the people have invested hugely into the enhancement of the sport aiming to discover talent and nurture them. It is not surprising that the legendary Abedi Pele comes from Paga.

In June, the Paramount Chief of the Paga Traditional Area will celebrate his 50 years on the Skin. As part of activities lined up to mark the event, an inter-community football tournament for communities in the jurisdiction, will be played.

The tournament is to among other very important things foster togetherness between community members and cause development for the growth of football and Paga.

Ahead of the tournament, football clubs in the area are eagerly training with the sole aim of winning the Paga-Pio’s football cup to write their names in Paga football history books.

Some challenges are however standing in the ways of these football teams and their aims. Challenges that make it difficult for football teams to even hold training activities.

Aluah Azempaga Dennis, coach of the Paga Football Club, a second division team, said the challenges are not only affecting the progress of teams in the area but also affecting the love for the sport as teams are unable to do much without support.

Speaking to GhanaWeb on the sideline when the Physioshop Production Centre donated a new set of jerseys and financial support to the Nyania Football Club, Azempaga said second division games have begun in the area but the lack of outfits such as jerseys and football boots was affecting the games.

“Some of the challenges are the footballs, don’t have enough footballs and some of them are not of good quality. We don’t also have ball boots. Some of us even buy rubber boots called ‘Fulani’ just to be in the games.

According to Azempaga, another serious challenge is transportation. He revealed that teams have challenges traveling to other areas to play games.

“Sometimes, we travel to Wiaga, Bolga, and other communities, and it's costly without your means of transportation.”. Azempaga said.

Azempaga, who is appealing for support to turn Paga football fortunes around, stated that players and team managers in the area sometimes contemplate abandoning the sport.

He revealed that there have been times managers of football teams, go broke from overly spending on provisions for the teams.

“Sometimes, the challenges are bad to the extent that some of us always feel like withdrawing from the game. Because sometimes, managers go bankrupt just to keep the players active.”

Abem Patrick, the manager of Nyania Football Club, corroborated Azempaga’s statements. According to Abem, there were still football teams and players in the area who did not have basic things like proper jerseys and football boots respectively.

He said as a town that has produced a great football talent for the country, it was important for authorities and benevolent entities who have the development of sport at heart to support football growth in Paga.

“Jerseys and football boots are very important. But some players in this town still don’t have boots and also teams without jerseys which something needs to be done about that so that football in Paga can develop.”

GhanaWeb’s efforts to have comments from the District Officer in charge of sports development were unsuccessful.