How Rawlings contributed to Ghana’s development in sports » ™

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Following the death of former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings on Thursday 12th November, we have compiled some of the notable achievements in Ghana’s sports courtesy the late Rawlings.

AFCON triumph

Ghana won their last continent title under the leadership of former President Rawlings. Liman’s government had decided that Ghana was not going to participate in the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Libya, but when Rawlings staged a coup detat that toppled the Liman’s government they rescinded the earlier decision.

The Black Stars participated in the continent’s showpiece and eventually won the tournament.

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Ghana went on to play Gaddafi’s Libya in the final and won 7-6 in a post-game shootout following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

Stability in the sports ministry

The Ministry of sports is considered to be a volatile area because it has had frequent change of ministers than any other sector since 2000.

However, former President Rawlings entrusted the Ministry into the hands of E.T Mensah and he headed the ministry from 1992-2000.

Successfully hosted the 1999 Africa U-20 Nations

The 1999 African Youth Championship was the tenth edition of the continental Under-20 football competition, held in Ghana. It also served as qualification for the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship.

Ghana successfully hosted the tournament by providing the various training facilities, stadia, hotels, etc.

During the tournament, Ghana defeated West African neighbours Nigeria to win the competition.

World boxing titles

Ghana thrived well in boxing during the presidency of J.J Rawlings. The West Africans produced many world champions during his tenure.

For instance, he created an enabling environment for boxers to excel at the world stage. Jerry John Rawlings opened his doors to them to share their problems with him.

One of his closest sportsmen was Azumah Nelson. During his tenure, Ghana produced more world champions than ever. The likes of Azumah, Nana Yaw Barimah, Ike Quartey, became world boxing champions.

Ghana became first African nation to win a medal in Olympics football:

Ghana, who had the youngest team by far in the 1992 Olympic football tournament (18.8 years), surprised bronze medallists, becoming the first African nation to earn a medal in Olympics football.

They did so in a 1-0 victory over yet another surprise, Australia, finishing the match with their No. 3 goalkeepers, Simon Addo in the nets after Ibrahim Dossey was forced out with an injury. Ghana won on a free-kick goal by Isaac Asare in the 20th minute five minutes after Dossey had saved an Australian penalty.

Ghana survived a man disadvantage in the final minutes to take the Olympic soccer bronze medal.

FIFA U-17 World Cup triumphs on two occasions:

Ghana won their first FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1991 and clinched their second title in 1995. The Black Starlets played in four consecutive finals-1991, 1993, 1995 and 1997.

The Black Starlets made Ghana proud as they defeated Spain to win their first-ever FIFA U-17 World Cup in Italy.

The scorer of the all-important goal was Emmanuel Duah in the 77th minute.

Ghana enroute to reaching the final placed second in group D after finishing with 5 points, just as the group leaders Spain, but with inferior goal difference.

Otto Pfister charges progressed by beating Brazil 2-1 in the quarters, before edging out Qater on penalties after a goalless draw in the semis to set a date with Spain in the final.

The final was expected to generate a lot of thrills because their group stage tie failed to produce a winner.

Ghana who had studied the Europeans played a great game and piped them to win their first FIFA U-17 World Cup. It was richly deserved triumph.

Rawlings named a street in Accra after the victorious Starlets team of 1991.

The Players who made Ghana proud in Italy

Ben Owu

Sebastian Barnes

Isaac Asare

Samuel Kuffour

Kofi Nimo

Mohammed Gargo

Yaw Preko

Nii Lamptey

Willie Brown

Nana Opoku

Emmanuel Duah

Daniel Addo

Kofi Mbeah

Abdul Migima

Joseph Essien

Samuel Kissi

Mark Edusei

Ali Jarra

Coach: Otto Pfister

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