Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this Statement.
Mr. Speaker, before the match was played on Saturday the skipper of the Black Stars, when he was interviewed in South Africa, said that the South African match represents the key to the World Cup and that Ghana was prepared to take that key. Mr. Speaker, the key has been taken by Ghana and I want to urge the Black Stars that now that the key is in our hands we should go forward and open the gate to the World Cup. Whether it is a steel gate or it is made of anything we should be able to open that gate and enter the World Cup Tournament.
Mr. Speaker, from the speech of the skipper of the team they are prepared to sacrifice and die a little for Ghana; and they have died a little for Ghana. We are now urging them to go and die the more for Ghana. Mr. Speaker, if they do that, let us look at them and compare their efforts to what others have done for Ghana; and when they sacrifice and go to the World Cup, we are asking for nothing more than the World Cup to be brought to Ghana; and when it comes I want the authorities, the Ministry, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to all make a package for them. We have had a lot of players who had sacrificed for Ghana but they are now forgotten. It is for us to remember our heroes; it is for us to also plan for those who are yet to become heroes.
On this note I support the Statement.
Minister for Women and children's
Affairs (Hajia Alima Mahama): Mr. Speaker, I rise to associate myself with the Statement and also to congratulate the Black Stars for the joy they brought to all Ghanaians last Saturday. We are all so very happy -- men, children and women were all so happy -- and we congratulate them and urge them on to continue and make us
happier after the next two matches.
Mr. Speaker, I would also want to
recognize the technical team and the management, the handlers of this team and to also encourage the Ministry of Education and Sports to look for packages to motivate the management and the technical handlers. Just as we are motivating the players and we are all saying that that motivation is necessary and very important, we should also consider motivating the technical handlers and the management so that in the next two matches they would put in their best, together with the players. There is no gainsaying the fact that the management and the handlers played a very significant role and I would wish that we look for packages to motivate the management and the handlers just as we motivate the players.
Deputy Minister for Education and Sports (Mrs. Angelina Baiden- Amissah): Mr. Speaker, in associating myself with the Statement on the floor, I wish to say that sports is now climbing to a commanding height and I realize that all Ghanaians have now raised their voices and their hearts to support our players, especially for the fact that they are doing their best.
Mr. Speaker, as I watched the players play, I could read and observe the patriotic tendencies that came out of them, the sacrifice and the fact that they were playing for Ghana and not playing for themselves, such that even those who had injured themselves continued playing until we won by two goals. Mr. Speaker, even after the first half we could see the cheer in the players by the fact that they did not exhibit any form of tiredness but continued to play on. They assured us that they would win and surely they won.
Mr. Speaker, some of the South Africans started shouting even before the match “Bafana Bafana! Ghana, down,
down, down!” But Mr. Speaker, I just watched them without saying anything and after we had won I saw the same people who shouted, so I also shouted: “Black Stars! Black Stars! Two goals! Down with Bafana Bafana!” And surely, Mr. Speaker, they could not say anything because they had started it and I had given them a fitting reply.
Mr. Speaker, talking about the
supporters in South Africa, I am talking about Ghanaians resident in South Africa, they did their best. Mr. Speaker, one of them hired two buses to bring supporters, so the supporters that we saw on television had not all travelled from Ghana to the place but some Ghanaians, irrespective of party affiliations, brought a lot of supporters there; they paid and fed them there. Mr. Speaker, we watched them with admiration. And Mr. Speaker, not forgetting about the High Commissioner there, she did her best. Looking at the whole atmosphere one could see that the atmosphere was charged and that Ghanaians are now doing their best.
Mr. Speaker, as I s tand here ,
I congratulate the hon. Minister for Education and Sports for his magnanimity, the pep talk that he even gave, the prayers that he gave to the Black Stars, before they went for the match. The room was charged with the Holy Spirit which kept on pouring the gift onto the players such that they did not even feel any tiredness.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to say that as I congratulate the management, the Ministry and the players, I would urge them on and still want them to know and feel that we are going to win come the matches with Uganda and Cape Verde. South Africans were rather wishing that we lost because I read from one of their newspapers, The Star that in case Ghana loses to Uganda and Cape Verde, it meant that Ghana would not qualify for the 2006 matches;
but I just smiled because watching the boys play, I knew for sure that they would be going to Germany in 2006.
Long live the Black Stars! Long live the Ministry! Long live Ghana sports and long live everybody!