The maiden edition of the First Lady’s Cup will be played on Friday, December 10, 2021, at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady, disclosed this at the launch of the maiden “First Lady’s Cup Competition” in Accra.
The competition is the women’s version of the President’s Cup.
Mrs Akufo-Addo said the competition, which would witness local women teams compete for the prestigious trophy, ushered in a new era for women’s football in Ghana and also recognized the importance of shining the spotlight on women’s football to give it the necessary push.
She said despite the plethora of challenges the Ghana women football faced, “our women have given us enough to believe that, given the needed support, they can bring glory to Ghana.”
Referring to the first-ever CAF Women’s Football Strategy, which aimed to shape the future of the women’s game, with the slogan #ItsTimeItsNow, Mrs Akufo-Addo said the time was right for Ghanaians to actively develop and promote women’s football.
She mentioned the many challenges facing women’s Football in the country, including the low remuneration of the players, poor infrastructure, lack of equipment and transport and inadequate women personnel in the various teams.
Therefore, the instituted Women’s Cup competition, would among other things, solicit the support of all Ghanaians, for the establishment of the first Women’s School of Soccer Excellence in West Africa, a school, which would train women coaches and other technical staff, to upgrade the capacity of women in the football industry.
“I am eagerly looking forward to the day when the “Dug Out” would be filled by women with a woman as the Head Coach in women’s matches,” she said.
Mrs Akufo-Addo expressed optimism that other programmes being pursued by various state agencies, including Ghana Football Association (GFA), Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA), the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Education, such as FIFA’s “Boots for Books” project, the appointment of a woman to the GHALCA Executive Council and GHALCA’s intended collaboration with the University of Professional Studies and Accountancy to run a professional leadership course in Football Administration for members during the next semester, would lead to a significant development in the country’s women football industry.
On the matter of financial challenges being faced by some female teams, which makes paying players a decent wage a problem, the First Lady recommended to GHALCA, to engage the Captains of Industry, so they could provide pro bono business development services to the
She urged female Captains of Industry to adopt the female teams and equip them with the necessary skills and capacity to run their teams better. She also called on the government to look at emoluments and bonuses paid to female national teams and officials to make it more equitable.
Mrs Akufo-Addo charged GHALCA to establish the necessary platforms, where various stakeholders, including the media and potential sponsors, could engage each other to improve on the country’s women’s football industry.
The First Lady also advised industry players on the need to pay particular attention to women in football and allow them to find the balance between their roles as footballers and other roles as women to avoid the situation where they become destitute after retiring from active football.
She said if that happened it would not serve as inspiration to young girls who would want to participate in the sport.
Mrs Akosua Frema Osei-Opare. Chief of Staff, who chaired the function, said football was the passion of the nation and that was why it attracted huge investments from the government for the provision of infrastructure and participation in international competitions. She said it was time for Ghanaians to rally behind football to help it to grow to a stage where Ghana could also win the women version of the African and World Cups.
Mrs Osei-Opare congratulated the First Lady for adding women football to her numerous responsibilities as another conduit to women empowerment and to help the under-privileged in society.
She pledged her support to the initiative and also urged the private sector to lend their full support to ensure that the right structures were put in place to sustain this laudable venture and steer it through any turbulence, to success.
Also present to grace the occasion were the Second Lady, Hajia Samira Bawumia, Mustapha Ussif, Minister for Youth and Sports, Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Acting Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Madam Dapaah expressed the country’s support for the blossoming of women soccer both at the local and the world at large.
Source: Ghana News Agency