SONA 2024: President Akufo-Addo unveils football development policy for Ghana

Under the football plan, the school sports department of the Ministry of Education will work more closely with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association

President Nana Akufo-Addo has announced an initiative aimed at revolutionising football development in Ghana.

In his penultimate State of the Nation Address, delivered to Parliament on Tuesday (27 February), President Akufo-Addo outlined plans for a comprehensive presidential policy on football, emphasising collaboration and co-ordination between the government and the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

The president’s move is in sync with widespread criticism of Ghana football and a sense of an urgent need to rectify shortcomings in football development. Central to the initiative is the decision to integrate the Ministry of Education’s school sports department with the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the GFA.

The collaborative approach aims to establish district, regional and national juvenile teams for both sexes, fostering talent from the grass roots upwards.

“I believe it is time for us to take a long-term, far-sighted approach to correct what has gone wrong,” the president said. “It is time to return to scouting, grooming and developing talent at the district, grass-roots level, under a presidential policy on football that I intend to unveil.”

Expanding infrastructure

The president highlighted the pivotal role of infrastructure in nurturing young talent, citing the construction of 150 AstroTurf pitches across the country. These facilities, 30 of which are designated for youth development, serve as the cornerstone for identifying and honing the skills of serious aspiring footballers.

The president affirmed the government’s commitment to expanding infrastructure to speed up the development of emerging talent.

“The more than 150 AstroTurf pitches constructed throughout the country, under this administration, provide the 30 foundational facilities to make a start as we strive to provide more of them,” he said. 

“We should see a steady progression of talent up the ladder from the junior juvenile teams to the senior sides, based on merit and nothing else,” President Akufo-Addo said.

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