Hearts get GH1 million hamper from President Akufo-Addo

November 24, 2021 By 0 Comments

The delegation in a roundtable meeting with President Akufo-Addo and other officials of the Presidency

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has supported the continental club masters, Accra Hearts of Oak, with an amount of one million Ghana Cedis (GH¢1 million) to help their preparation towards the CAF Confederation Cup.

The President made the contribution on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 when a delegation from the team paid a courtesy call on him at Jubilee House, Accra, to present the two trophies they won last season.

Though the President said he would not be in the country on Sunday to watch the game against Algeria in the CAF Confederation Cup, as Accra Hearts of Oak had requested of him, he hoped his contribution would incentivise the team to excel.

Beyond the cash contribution, President Akufo-Addo, who is a fan of the rivals of Accra Hearts of Oak, the Porcupine Warriors, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, told the team he would support them in spirit.

The delegation in a group photograph with President Akufo-Addo and the Chief of Staff, Fremah Akosua Osei-Opare

It would be recalled that Asante Kotoko had earlier received the same amount, GH¢1 million, from the President to support the team for previous continental games.

“…But I will be with you in spirit. But, even better, I will do something that I did for Asante Kotoko when they came here as the league champions of Ghana. I made a contribution to help them in their preparation for the continental tournament. The Minister [for Youth and Sports] reminds me that it was a million cedis that I gave them. I cannot be seen to give a penny less than a million cedis. People will accuse me of bias. And as President, I cannot be accused of being biased as far as Ghanaians are concerned,” he said amidst laughter in the auditorium.

“So that is the contribution that I will make, which I hope will help encourage and incentivise the players and all of you,” he said.

It was the hope of the President that at the end of the game, Ghanaians would hear good news from the team.

Ghana flag

In his remarks, President Akufo-Addo congratulated the club for their treble victory last year, indicating that it was seldom achieved in Ghana’s football history. He, however, added that each time it was done, it was such a feat.

The trophies the team won last season presented to President

He recounted the days when the Owusu Memorial Park in Fadama was being used for league matches because there was no stadium.

He remembered how arguments were heated in his house whenever Kumasi Asante Kotoko had to come to Accra to play Hearts of Oak, because the family had been divided for each side.

“I have followed the fortunes of Accra Hearts of Oak all my life. And the chairman of the board, who is also very successful, in fact, I believe he is the one who took Hearts of Oak to the continental final—I’m talking about Tommy Thompson. He was a great friend of mine and we used to spend a lot of time arguing and shouting at each other about Kotoko and Hearts. So, I want to congratulate you. You’ve done very well. You’ve lifted the image of our country and you will continue to do so. ”

Coach Boadu and Captain Fatawu

President Akufo-Addo, while commending the team for its achievements, made particular mention of its captain, Fatawu Mohammed.

According to the President, he had been following the young footballer and was impressed with what he was doing, as many football lovers are. He encouraged Fatawu to keep up the good work.

Further, President Akufo-Addo mentioned the coach of the Accra Hearts of Oak, Samuel Boadu, and commended him.

Ghana Football Reforms:

President Akufo-Addo was happy that the reforms the government had to make to reform Ghanaian football had received the blessings of the citizens.

The trophies the team won last season presented to President

Meanwhile, he was of the view that a lot more needed to be done in the future to take the country back to its hay days of football.

“I am happy that the reforms that we had to undertake to sanitize Ghana football have now, I think, general acceptance. People have seen that it was worth doing and that it has helped us grow our game.”

Elaborating on the goal to improve Ghana’s football, he indicated that the Accra Hearts of Oak would have a very big part to play. “So, we have to encourage you.”

Hearts Board Member

Leading the team’s delegation to Jubilee House, a board member, Vincent Sowah Odotei said the team had come to share the glory with the President, stressing that winning the season pushes them to represent the country for the confederation cup.

He then asked for support from the President to enable the team prepare. He also wanted the President to be at the stadium on Sunday to boost the morale of the team, whose confidence he said was a bit down.

His remarks preceded those of the President, who was handed a customized number 77 Accra Hearts of Oak jersey.