The Ghana Deaf Football Association (GDFA) on Saturday held a special football match at the Accra Sports Stadium to commemorate the 72nd birthday anniversary of former President, Jerry John Rawlings.
The match, played by members of the Ghana national deaf football team, Black Wonders and new players selected from a recent gala by the GDFA ended 3-3.
It was attended by a few dignitaries including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Sports Authority (NSA), Prof. Peter Twumasi and Mr Abedu Wilson, Deputy Director General (Technical) of the NSA.
The game was also to give the newly selected players a platform to compete with the experienced national team players who are preparing for a West African Deaf Football Championship in Sierra Leone in a few months’ time.
Due to the absence of ex-president Rawlings at the time of the game, the GDFA, will in the course of the week present a special citation to him at his residence at Ridge.
The presentation, according to the Head of Communications of the GDFA, Ransford Lartey, was to appreciate the support from the former president and her daughter, Dr. Ezanetor Rawlings, who supported the anniversary match with an undisclosed amount.
Addressing the players after the game, Prof. Twumasi commended the organisers and hailed the performance of the boys.
Based on that, he urged the GDFA to go ahead with the organisation of a football league for the deaf.
“You have done very well with this game and I feel when given a bigger platform, you can rival your colleagues playing in professional leagues around,” he said.
He was optimistic that a league will not only bring together other hearing-and-talking-impaired youth but widen the scope for the selection of players into the national team and pledged that the NSA was ready to support the GDFA by making available their facilities to them.
Mr. Johnson Mahama, president of the GDFA, commended the players for the performance but advised them to train harder if they want to cement a place in the national team.
Mr. Winfred Chartey, head coach of the team, was also full of praise for the new players and hoped that they can sustain that performance to provide competition for the senior players.
He said a few of those selected will be camped with the main team for several training sessions before a final team was selected for the West Africa Championship followed by the Africa championships. (TIMES SPORTS REPORTER)