THE BOARD of the Ghana Amputee League Clubs Association (GHALCA) has been inaugurated in Accra with a call on all stakeholders to bury their differences and powers struggles to make way for a peaceful and united front to promote and develop the sport.
Speaking at a programme to launch the Ghana Amputee League, Mr. Daniel Nii Mensah, chairman of the league, hinted that the sport had been around since 2000, with dedicated people directing affairs, but for some time there had been fluctuating fortunes like lack of political will to forge ahead, lack of equipment, poor infrastructure, social stigmatization, low self-esteem, in-fighting among stakeholders and exploitation of amputee football.
He said these problems had caused the sport not to develop and be promoted as it should be, but rather suffered setbacks.
He urged the Association members to forget about the past and support each other for the sport to come alive again.
“As your new leader, I would ensure that we have a united front putting all old facts and arguments aside and move on. All members of the old federation and the association would have a part to play in the new administration, since their wealth of experience and knowledge remains valuable,” he expressed.
He said the Association had chalked up some successes which must be improved.
He announced that there were eight clubs ready to play in the new league coming up.
He named the clubs as Eefsa Amputee FC, Global Amputee FC, Amugisco Amputee FC, Justice Amputee FC, Ericos Amputee FC, Richoff Amputee FC and Asantemang Amputee FC.
He said venues for their matches included Accra Sports Stadium, Lizzy Sports Complex, Baba Yara Sports Stadium, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology, Wembly Park at Kotobabi in Accra and Accra Technical Training Centre.
He said the Amputee League is a livelihood strategy which can lift a lot of amputees from poverty to stardom and provide them with sustainable income, thereby reducing unemployment among the disabled community, as well as reducing the number of persons with disability begging on the streets of the major cities in Ghana.
“We hereby call on the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, to adopt the Amputee League as one of his social protection and job creation strategies to ensure that the league is supported. This will fulfil the old promise by successive governments to develop the lesser known sports,” he stressed.
He said amputee football had been re-born and would be inaugurated properly on March 25, 2018 at the El Wak Sports Stadium in Accra.
He thanked companies like National Petroleum Authority, Access Bank, Tullow Gh. Ltd, Glico Group Ltd, Amazing Catering Saevices, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, MTN Ghana, Zenith Bank and BOST for their support.
Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, a Ghanaian USA Amputee Football player, who is President of Ghana Amputee Football, urged the players and officials not to be deterred but strive to be among the best sportsmen in the world as there are many opportunities for amputee players as professionals in advanced countries.
The Director General of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Robert Sarfo Mensah, assured the amputees of support for the fields and other equipment.
Madam Nana Adjoa Twum, a representative of the Ministry of Youth & Sports, also assured them of government support to ensure smooth running of the League and international programmes.
Some members of the Amputee Football Association present at the event were Kuuku Dzanie, Philip Richter, Alex Tetteh, Wisdom Fiamenu and Coach Ali Jara.