Issah Toha Shamsoo, Executive Director of African Students For Interfaith Tolerance (ASFIT), a youth-led peace-building non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in the North East Region of Ghana, has called on all Ghanaians, especially football supporters, football clubs, and football administrators to leverage the potential of football as a unifying and peace-building tool.
He made this call at the climax of Suhudua Deema (Peace Games) organised in Walewale by his organisation for football clubs in the West Mamprusi Municipality.
The final football match was very competitive and was between Bokuduri FC and Wungu Daribio until it was finally settled at the penalties in favour of Wungu Daribio.
Touching on the successful end of the football games, Mr. Shamsoo said: “I am glad to see the successful climax of the Peace Games. These games were organised as part of a broader project we are implementing known as sports4peace, and so even before the games, we held a one-day capacity-building workshop for the participating football clubs and the West Mamprusi Municipal Football Association on how they can identify early warning signs for the peaceful resolution of grievances. In addition to that, we visited all the participating teams at their training centres to engage with the players and some of their supporters.
“The sports4peace initiative, in simple terms, recognises the power of football to unite us as a people for peace. Thus, in so doing, we strive to address violence and hooliganism associated with football so that people can enjoy the game without the fear of violence. I would also like to thank our partner, Euphrates Institute, for their support.”
The stakeholders who were present commended the organisation for their peace-building efforts and admonished the football teams and their supporters to be peace ambassadors.
The event to climax their activities brought together key stakeholders including religious and traditional leaders, youth groups, football clubs, the West Municipal Football Association, and Civil Society Organisations such as the North East Regional Secretariat of the United Nations Association Ghana, Northern Innovation Lab, Brave Aurora, and many others.