For opponents of the Kurt Okraku-led Ghana Football Association (GFA), the administration is lately on a self-adulation party, venerating themselves ahead of this year’s election. Thus, with no clear timetable for the polls, Kurt Okraku, under the guise of launching football development policies, has openly been campaigning, they say.  

It is one of those things that comes with incumbency. We can hardly begrudge them. Recently, it was the GFA Foundation, which critics say should have just been a welfare scheme at the FA’s headquarters; not a foundation that among other things would cater for its vulnerable members. It is illogical for the GFA to set up a foundation that takes care of its own – not the society it lives in, the critics argued.   

Before the arguments on the foundation die down, the GFA has launched its new baby, the Ghana Football School, which it says is its “capacity building and skills training wing.” The football school will be in partnership with the University of Ghana; Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology; the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration; University of Professional Studies Accra; the Sunyani Technical University and China Europe International Business School.   

"The Ghana Football School will work closely with these institutions to determine the best ways to support our legends in achieving the career pathways they desire beyond their time on the pitch" Kurt Okraku said. The school would advance professional development, competence, and training people within the football space".   

I have some questions. First, why is Winneba Sports College not one of the partner institutions? Would the school address the fundamental issue of developing our game from the grassroot level? What are the modalities for entry, enrollment, training, graduation, etc.? Why publicise the school when vital information on entry, the studies or courses and certification have not been sufficiently provided?  

GFA spokesperson, Henry Asante replied: ‘Why not launch it as a first step if an understanding with the institutions have been reached?’ It weighed on me. ‘We had to announce it while we continue working on the other relevant matters’ he said. In terms of addressing fundamental problems, we must be futuristic in thinking.

From the scientific standpoint; medicine to marketing, communication to coaching, management to governance; many of those in our game presently do not have substantial, professional knowledge on developments even in the portfolios they hold. If the GFA that created this school are truly going to team up with the institutions it listed, this school would make a positive impact with time. It is likely to create a pool of qualified personnel managing varying aspects of our game in future.

As CAF/FIFA licensing demands become heavy in the coming years, our football people may not be found wanting. I see enormous potential for the school if what has been put on paper is implemented as good as is spoken about. If Ghalca could for example team up with UPSA for workshops on marketing, (I paid to attend one last year) I do not see why the GFA cannot run this school with the level of experience the partner institutions have. Anyway, when I look at the school, I see more positives than negatives.