President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kurt Edwin Simeon Okraku joined the Minister for Youth & Sports Mustapha Ussif at a meeting with ex-national footballers on Wednesday, September 1.
The event which was held at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra was organised by the Ministry of Youth & Sports is part of series of engagements by the Sports Minister to familiarise himself with the ex-national team players and to tap into their experiences.
The event was also to express appreciation to the legends for the sacrifices they made during their playing days in the Black Stars as well other national teams.
Addressing the ex-players, the GFA President stressed how the role they played in the history of Ghana football helped in promoting the image of Ghana across the World.
He, however, noted the sacrifices the ex-national stars made in order to win laurels for the nation and to represent Ghana in African competitions and at the World stage.
“You sacrificed from the days when you walked long distances to training in your youth till the days when you played in the national teams. In the end, Ghana became the ultimate beneficiary of your sacrifices.
“In the challenging times when there was no or little motivation, you still sacrificed to represent Ghana. I remember the story of the flight to Gabon and I’m sure you all have stories to tell. These are ultimate sacrifices you all made for Ghana.
“Our mission here today is to say thank you. However, if in any way, we have offended any of you, we are sorry”, the GFA President intimated.
The GFA President added that the football family appreciates the sacrifices, efforts and contributions of the retired footballers and legends of the game.
He also called on the ex-players to bring their experience on board and contribute to the collective efforts aimed at ensuring that the Black Stars qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Minister for Youth & Sports Mustapha Ussif thanked the ex-national stars for accepting to attend the event and expressed gratitude to them for lifting the flag of Ghana high during their playing days.
Mr Ussif stressed that the purpose of the meeting was to tap into the rich experience of the ex-footballers and solicit for advice on developing Ghana Football and the Sports industry.
“As part of my stakeholder engagements since taking over as Minister for Youth & Sports, I have called for this meeting to familiarise with you, our legends and to thank you for your patriotic service to our nation. This is also to seek your guidance and support for the new generation as they strive to emulate your golden path.
“Ghana will forever be proud of you and if you are here today, it is to express the gratitude of the nation and that of H.E. the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“ As role models for the current generation, I call on you to come on board and support us with your blessings and prayers”, Mr Ussif reiterated.
The ex-players came up with various suggestions and offered words of encouragement to the GFA and the Ministry of Youth & Sports.
Amongst the ex-players who attended the event were Reverend Osei Kofi, Abedi Pele, Wilberforce Mfum, Stephen Appiah, Samuel Osei Kuffour, Augustine Arhinful, Tony Baffoe, Ibrahim Sunday, Ablade Kumah, Dan Owusu, Affoh Duodu, Sam Johnson etc.
Similar engagements will be held for former footballers in other parts of the country.