• Mr Asiamah addressing the team at Prampram last Friday. On his left is Mr Eyiah
Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Kwame Asiamah, has urged the national Under-17 side, Black Starlets, to write their names in gold at the upcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup.
The tournament is scheduled to take place in the South Asian country of India between October 6-28, next month.
The Starlets placed second in May this year at the African Under-17 tournament held in Gabon to qualify for the global edition, after the country’s decade of absence from the mundial.
Speaking to the team at their camping base in Prampram last Friday, Mr Asiamah expressed government’s gratitude at the team’s qualification to India and noted that the sector ministry would put all measures in place to ensure the team returns with the golden fleet, which the team last won 22 years ago in Ecuador.
“Government and the people of Ghana are very proud of you for qualifying to the World Cup after a 10-year absence and this presents a golden opportunity to you to proudly lift high the image of Ghana in India and return with the trophy.”
According to him, the upcoming tournament presents them a big chance to make a name for themselves and the country as a whole.
“You have the opportunity to ink your names in gold and for us as government we would stop at nothing to see you achieve that feet.”
He told the team that: “you have a great supporter in President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo who has keen interest in this team. I have been giving him regular updates about this team and its preparations, so from now till the tournament, everything has been made successful for you to have a great tournament and win the trophy.”
The minister noted that, personally, he is happy when the Starlets do well to the highest level because that is where the future of Ghana football is defined.
“It is your success today that would tell of the bright future the Black Satellites, Black Meteors and the Black Stars would have in some years to come; so I am happy you are being re-positioned in such a way that you will become the kind of players that the senior teams require to achieve success for the country in the not-too-distant future.”
He congratulated the team’s management committee chairman, Mr Kweku Eyiah, and head coach Paa Kwesi Fabin for working harmoniously together to qualify the team to the mundial and reviving the spirit in the national cadet team and urged them to continue the good work and finish it off by winning the trophy.
On the bonus structure for the team, Mr Asiamah noted that the $1,000 per head initiated during the Nations Cup in Gabon will be maintained for the mundial.
However, he noted that when the Starlets return with the Holy Grail, “the nation has an obligation to present them with a package as has been done over the years and government is ready to honour them in a very special way.”
The minister stressed that they are working earnestly at making sure they settle all outstanding bonuses that were owed the team before he took office.
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY
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