Whither Ghana Sports?
Last Tuesday, we had the unpleasant occasion to lament the relocation of the revived National Athletic Championship to Togo because there was no suitable arena in Ghana today to host the Championships.
It is a crying shame counting the cost of such sporting venture to the nation - busing athletes, officials and journalists out for the four-day championship.
However, it has been a lot beneficial to the athletes and officials in their preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Melbourne (Australian) next month and the All Africa Games in Mauritius in August, albeit the murmurs by some athletes over cheating in payment of allowances.
Indeed, there can be no doubting the relief of the Chairman of the Ghana Athletic Association, Sandy Osei Agyemang, at the end of the championship in Lome: “This is what we have been waiting for all this while; the athletes have performed above average and it is an indication that given the right facilities they will show great exploits”.
Nothing is further from the truth that lack of facilities has been the major bane of Ghana Sports, with disciplines like athletics and boxing suffering as a result.
Yet, strangely enough national attention has been lukewarm to the need to rescue the situation. Not even football, the acclaimed passion of the nation, is endowed in the provision of facilities.
Ghana football’s top teams are also being bugged by the lack-of-facilities syndrome because officials at Obuasi Len Clay are saying the venue may not be ready to host the CAF matches to be played there by Asante Kotoko, Hearts of Oak and King Faisal.
The shame of it is that this situation has arisen simply because the Accra and Kumasi stadia are undergoing face-lifts in readiness for CAN 2008. Should our football world come to a halt anytime the Accra and Kumasi stadia are to be rehabilitated?
We do not want to belabour this point, but does it mean we had not anticipated this to prepare well ahead of time? As for Hearts and Kotoko they must be doubly ashamed of themselves for not applying their huge influence in Ghana football to positive achievements as acquisition of their own modest arenas.
Nevertheless, the situation needs to be salvaged. And on that score we would like to appeal to the Ministry of Sports to come in and assist the authorities at Len Clay to bring the venue to the standard required by CAF