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Ghana On Course To Host African Cup Of Nations
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Soccer News of Sunday, 17 April 2011

Source: Daily Democrat

Ghana On Course To Host African Cup Of Nations

The Black Challenge-Ghana’s Amputee Football Team getting ready for a match at the World Cup in Argentina.

Ghana’s preparations to host this year’s Amputee Football Federation of Africa (AFFA) African Cup of Nations received a major boost with the visit of the federation’s secretary, Madam Barbara Ogunti, to Ghana to inspect facilities for the tournament.

Madam Ogunti’s visit, the first in a series, is to afford her, on behalf of the federation, the opportunity to assess Ghana’s preparations towards the hosting of the 3rd African Cup of Nations and to deliberate with Ghanaian officials on plans put in place to make the competition a success.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Daily Democrat, Madam Barbara Ogunti, expressed her satisfaction at the facilities earmarked for the tournament, indicating that government’s commitment at putting in the necessary resources gives the federation hope that all would be well. She said she was impressed by what she saw in Ghana and would be coming later in this month to finalize arrangements for the tournament to begin in October this year. She was very hopeful amputee football would grow to become well recognized in Africa as it is in the world. Commenting on the future of amputee football in Africa, Madam Ogunti, who led the Liberian amputee team to the World Cup in Argentina, said the fact that Ghana has produced three professionals currently playing in Turkey is an indication that if the sport is given the necessary support it can become a reliable source of livelihood for amputees.

She appealed to corporate bodies and individuals to lend their support to the government and AFFA to ensure that the African Cup of Nations is organized to the envy of all.

Ghana is preparing to host the rest of Africa in October this year at the 3rd Amputee African Cup of Nations as a prelude to the 31st World Cup in Japan. The Black Challenge, Ghana’s Amputee National Team, won the first ever African Cup in Sierra Leone in 2007 and placed 6th at the last World Cup in Argentina after a historic quarter finals berth, the first by any African nation in the 60-year history of the games.

According to Mr. Francis Adjetey Sowah, AFFA President, preparations are far advanced for the tournament to take place. He disclosed that the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) would be formed and presented to Ghanaians next week, whilst the media launching follows soon.

On the technical front, Coaches Benjamin Charles Armah and Ali Jarra are strategizing to ensure that Ghana hosts and wins the tournament. The African Cup serves as a qualifying exercise for the World Cup. Nations such as Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Angola, Congo DR, among others, have already indicated their readiness to take part in the competition.

Ghana has chalked significant successes in amputee football in the world. Besides being the best African country as per its performance in Argentina, Ghana stands out as the first and only nation so far that has professional players playing outside its shores. Three players, Richard Opentil, Francis Antwi-Darkwah and Attah Yeboah, are currently playing in the Turkish Amputee league, displaying mesmerising skills that baffle the Turks.

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