Soccer News of Thursday, 12 September 2013

Source: Ghana Sports International

Fans join UNAIDS ''Protect the Goal'' campaign

The spectacular chain of events before, during and after the Ghana versus Zambia World Cup qualifie, came to a grand close on the morning after the match. This was when hundreds of Ghana United Supporters (GUSU) joined forces with students from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for a sex education/awareness drive initiated by UNAIDS ''Protect the goal campaign''.

The “Protect the Goal” campaign is a UNAIDS project aimed at raising awareness of HIV prevention and mobilise young people to commit to HIV prevention.

Earlier in January, the President of Ghana, John Mahama attended a UNAIDS event to send off the Ghana National Football Team (Black Stars) to the Africa Cup of Nations. During the event, President Mahama signed a pledge supporting the “Protect the Goal” campaign. The Captain of the Black Stars also signed and read out the pledge.

As part of advocacy activities, UNAIDS country offices joined forces with the latest and most vibrant supporters groups; GUSU and scores of students from the Unity hall of the KNUST to front the Protect the Goal campaign.

Spiced with drumming, music and the traditional Ghanaian ''jamma'', the vociferous Students went on a 2 hour walk through some key streets in central Kumasi ending with a cleanup exercise on the KNUST campus. The march concluded with a short interactive session and a play enacted by the Unity Hall students.

According to Yaw Ampofo Ankrah who was in charge of coordinating the various supporters groups, there are encouraging signs that all the unions are getting closer to forming an umbrella supporters association.

The event was also used to recruit members to the ever increasing GUSU which has now hit the 900 mark in Kumasi alone. President of Unity hall Charles Duah assured that he and his fellow students would do their bit to support the very worthy UNAIDS cause in partnership with GUSU and the Sports for Sanitation Project.

Ghana's Black Stars would know their opponents on the 16th of September when the draw for the final World Cup qualifier is made in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Thereafter, the first leg would be played on the weekend of 11,12 and 13th of October in five countries.

There is overwhelming lobbying for the crucial decider to be played in Kumasi purely on the grounds that the city, the venue and total support accorded the Black Stars cannot be matched by any other venue. However, FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi has indicated that the GFA will confirm the venue of the second leg immediately after the draw.