Sports Minister Mahama Ayariga says his decision to acquire a club in the Ghanaian lower tier league is to provide a new avenue for the youth in his conflict-stricken hometown of Bawku in the Upper East Region.
Ayariga is in the process of acquiring Division One League (DOL) club Tamale All Stars which will be moved to his hometown and renamed Bawku United.
‘Yes, we are in the process of taking over Tamale All Stars which we are transferring to Bawku and in fact I have applied to the GFA for the name to be changed to Bawku United,’ Ayariga told Citi FM.
The minister says his decision to acquire a club for Bawku is in a bid to harness the talent of the youth as well as provide recreation for a place that has been infamous for conflict.
‘You may know that I am the Member of Parliament for Bawku Central and we should not lose sight of the fact that apart from my responsibilities as a minister I have specific responsibilities as a Member of Parliament to promote entertainment, youth development and sports in my community.
‘There are ways in which sports can be used to promote unity, and Bawku has had a troubled history of many of our young people being involved in conflict and we have been exploring ways and means of promoting togetherness and unity among the youth.
‘We want to find them alternative avenues of engaging their attention instead of having them focus on negative things. So we thought that having a football club for the constituency called Bawku United will rebrand Bawku and secondly it will provide the youth who specifically have talent in football an opportunity for their individual development,’ he said.
The move to acquire a football club has raised eyebrows in the media and the Ghanaian football fraternity with a number of individuals citing a possible conflict of interest, a situation the minister assertively dismissed.
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