Amputees hit streets Monday over gov’t neglect

Source: Theodore Mawuli Kwaku Viwotor |   

Members of the Ghana National Amputee Football Team, the Black Challenge, have threatened to stage a demonstration on Monday against the government over its refusal to fund the team’s world cup participation.

Information picked from the playing body indicates that the players want to embarrass the government before the international community, for the neglect they have suffered over the years, especially when it comes to national issues.

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Though the demonstration I scheduled for Monday, October 15, there is no sign of where it would take place or the route to be used,

“We won’t tell anybody where it will take place, but we can assure you that Government would take years to recover from the embarrassment that would follow, mark it,” one of the players said, pleading anonymity for strategic reasons.

“No one cares about us; so we too we care less about whether the police is informed or not. We have the right to demonstrate and no one can take it away from us,’ another player said when asked about informing the police.

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It is suspected that the players would be joined by other Persons with Disability (PWDs) and the location would be the Jubilee House, the Sports Ministry or one of the embassies in the country.

The Black Challenge is billed to represent Ghana at the Amputee Football World Cup in Mexico from October 24 to November 5 but the trip looks uncertain as a result of the Sports Ministry’s refusal to fund it.

The players, currently training at the Arts Centre on non-residential basis, are at a fix over the trip though determined to raise the flag of Ghana high if measures are put in place.

So far, Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG() has donated Ten Thousand Dollars (US$10,000) with management of the team still pleading for more funds to actualize the trip.

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The Black Challenge, like other disability sports teams, has always had to struggle to get funding for international tournaments to represent Ghana.

The bill of a trip to Kenya in 2013 remains outstanding, leaving the management with a plethora of debts.

Ghana is in group B with Argentina, Italy and France and pundits believe, Ghana, with the highest number of professional amputee players in the world, can win the world cup this year.