The Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has rallied the national female under-20 football team, the Black Princesses, to aim for the ultimate prize in the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in Costa Rica later this year.
The Black Princesses, who have qualified for the world cup for the sixth successive time, he said, should endeavour to go beyond the group stages this time around, and possibly bring home the cup.
He recognised that the team had been put to test in the build-up to their final qualification through all the matches they played, both home and away. He, therefore, observed that the qualification did not come by luck but through teamwork and hard work of the young players.
While assuring them of a befitting package for each player for their qualification, he added that the “government is very committed to sports”, which is demonstrated by the regular engagement with local sports authorities in the country.
“We are following what is going on, and we want to encourage and support you. When we came into office, the country had only two Astroturf but today, we have almost over 80 in Ghana,” he stated.
Also, he said there is an ongoing construction of other sports facilities across the country including the construction of ten 5,000-seater sports stadia which are at various stages of construction now.
Dr. Bawaumia, who was speaking during a courtesy call by the Black Princesses and their technical team led by officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), charged the playing body and technical team to continue working together to bring progress.
The Minister for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif, also speaking at the event noted that the recent successes of the national team are partly due to the positive support received from government.
Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kurt Okraku, who led the delegation to the Presidency, acknowledged that the female sports teams have always been pacesetters especially when it comes to the World Cup.
He recalled the qualification of the Black Queens to the World Cup for the first time in 1999, which was the first time a senior national team secured their place in a major world tournament.
The F.A. President said the feat being recorded, “is as a result of a conscious effort to invest in the female sports, from the government through the Sports Ministry and the Football Association and partners.
“Since we took office some two years ago, we have placed premium emphasis on women’s football, including building capacity of those in charge,” he said, while noting that this has begun to pay off.
According to Okraku, the Black Princesses will start camping this week in preparation for the tournament this year.