Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2022. 8:12 am CST.
Photo Credit: News 5
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: “We believe that we can help Belize through these exchanges,” said Nanayaw Maponsah, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghanaian football club Asante Kotoko, according to News 5. The 2021-2022 Ghanaian football champions Asante Kotoko are playing two games against the Belize Men’s National Football Team (BMNT) in November here in Belize.
“These games you cannot underestimate or quantify the enormous benefits it brings to both countries and entities. Through sports we promote tourism; we promote international relations and also development of kids. I am very particular about up-and-coming kids, how we take them off the streets through sports. Sports are also business. It is a multinational, multibillion dollar industry and we have to seize every opportunity to take our fair share of this cake. And we can only do that through collaborative efforts.”
On September 9, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) signed an agreement with Patrick Osei Agyemang, representative of Asante Kotoko Soccer Club Asante Kotoko Sporting Club, for the Ghanaian club to play two games against the BMNT during their visit from November 15-30.
Known as the Porcupine Warriors, Asante Kotoko are the 2021-22 Ghana Premier League champions and are 31st in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) club ranking. They are sixth overall in the 21st century in Africa.
“This agreement is important not only for football but it also allows a unique opportunity for tourism and cultural exchange for both countries,” said the FFB at the time while acknowledging the assistance received from Belmopan Mayor Sheran Palacio who has close ties with Ghana.
“Mayor of Belmopan Ms. Sheran Palacio was instrumental in the realization of this agreement.”
The game should give the BMNT exposure against a club from an African footballing superpower.
“Everybody knows Ghana to be a football superpower. We have been to three world cups already, going on to our fourth one, and we know the impacts that such a tournament brings to our nation. We have won the Under Seventeen World Cup on two occasions; we have also won the Under-20, actually the only African nation to win the Under-20 FIFA World Cup. We believe that we can help Belize through these exchanges.”
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