Baffoe(L) receiving his prize from Nana Addo
President Akufo Addo has summed up the importance of sports as critical.
He revealed that sports remains one of the ventures that has brought joy to many of the citizenry and placed Ghana on a high pedestal.
The president indicated that the importance of sports informed his government to increase its budget saying, “My government is beginning to show its appreciation of the role of sports to the development of our nation by the increase of over 100 percent in the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Sports in this year’s Asempa Budget.
“We have gone from 21 million in last year’s budget to 46 million in this year’s budget. It is the beginning of good things to come.”
As a result, he has tasked stakeholders in the industry to accord sports the needed attention.
Gracing the 42nd MTN Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Awards in Accra over the weekend, the president paid gleaming tribute to iconic figures as Floyd Robertson, Roy Ankrah, Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey, Mike Ahey, Alice Anum, Emmanuel ‘Koora’ Tuffuor among others and journalists like Joe Aggrey, Oheneba Charles, Kwabena Yeboah etc for their diverse contributions to the development and promotion of sports in the country.
SWAG president Kwabena Yeboah pointed out that “Our football is badly weakened by corruption. The corruption is a result of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some and also our collective failure in confronting the canker. Bribery is becoming a nerve-centre of this beautiful sport which is sad to relate.”
The SWAG boss added that “FIFA’s ban of one our referees on acts that borders on pure dirt should awaken us. GFA cannot continue to play the ostrich particularly as the Ghana Premier League reaches the second round.”
Youth and Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah gave the assurance of fixing the deplorable Stadia in the country.
“… Already I have received a structural audit of the stadium and we are going to undertake the renovations in phases. I’m already in touch with stakeholders to close down the part of the stadium that could potentially cause havoc. We will also do face-lifting of the pitch.”
It was former Ghana deputy captain and founder of the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana(PFAG) Tony Baffoe, who left the Banquet Hall of the State House with the flagship prize(Sports Personality of the year).
TP Mazembe’s winger Solomon Asante shrugged off competition from West Ham forward Dede Ayew and Leicester City’s defender Daniel Amartey to win the Male Best Footballer of the year award, while Black Queens’ striker Priscilla Adubea won the Female category.
Wa All Stars’ goalie Richard Ofori won the local footballer of the year prize with the National Weightlifting team, The Black Cranes winning the National Team award. Ghana Premier League champions Wa All Stars were crowned Male Football Club of the year.
Full list of Award winners
McDan Group Of Companies
Twellium Industries Ghana Limited
Kick Boxer of the year
Lawrence Nyanyo Nmai
Table Tennis player of the year
Female Club of the year
Ampem Darkoa Ladies
Para-Athlete of the year
Discovery of the year
Weightlifter of the year
Hockey player of the year
(Male) Emmanuel Ankomah
(Female) Rachael Bamfoe
Most Promising Star of the year
Dedication and Valor
Amateur Boxer of the year
Abdul Wahid Omar
Male Athlete of the year
Female Athlete of the year
Coach of the year
Football Referee of the year
Association Chairman of the year
Ben Nunoo Mensah
Professional boxer of the year
Emmanuel ‘Game Boy’ Tagoe
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum