Awudu Ishaq

The latest poor and abysmal performance of the Ghana Black Stars in the ongoing Afcon in Cameroon has gotten Ghanaians from all walks of live expressing their frustration, disappointments and misgivings about Ghana Football.

As a country with a lot of passionate football fans, it is quite understandable to wake up to all manner of views and opinions being shared and expressed on the performance of the Senior National Team and how Ghana Football is being managed now. As a passionate football fan and a staunch supporter of the Ghana National Teams, I share in most of the sentiments shared by the good people of Ghana on how we could help uplift and take Ghana football back to its glory days.

Narrowing it down to my beloved Upper West Region, it is really a saddening and sickening situation to witness for one’s self how football and talent development is being (mis)treated. It is a fact that our dear region is blessed with an abundance of raw, God-given sporting talent as witnessed in times past when the Upper West Region and its various schools won trophie, medals and laurels at various sporting events across the country.

Though relatively young, I have witnessed for myself how the region adopted an all-hands on deck approach in supporting and projecting various football clubs in the Upper West Region to succeed so as to give a platform to players to horne and showcase their rare talents. The likes of Upper West Heroes and Wa Kwamax FC who enjoyed considerable support from the political class and business community readily comes to mind.

Until 2008 when the now ousted GFA President, Mr Kwasi Nyantakyi brought Premier league football to the Upper West Region, the pinnacle of football in the Upper West Region was the second-tier of Ghana Football- the Division One League. And since the infamous Anas Expose on Corruption in Ghana football that brought down Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi and compelled him to relinquish his ownership of then Wa All Stars which has now been relocated from the Upper West Regional capital, the region has to contend yet again with boasting of just one Division One Club- Wa Suntaa Sporting Club.

Suntaa SC burst into the local scene since 2016 and has jealously held high the flag of the Upper West Region in the football circles. The club which has been run by a group of enthusiastic young men has largely depended on the benevolence of some notable individuals and groups to meet its financial and logistical challenges. Various individuals, groups and institutions have at different occasions come to the aid of the club to keep it going.

The club has an unquenchable thirst to fill the void created by the unfortunate departure of Wa All Stars. This dream has been the driving force that keeps the management, technical team and players working their socks off to participate in the National Division One League year after year.

It is my considered opinion that this quest and dream must be embraced by all stakeholders desirous of seeing Premier League Football back in the Upper West Region. The political ruling class, the business community, and all football loving fans must rally round the club to inject a new sense of energy and motivation into the team to make the Upper West Region proud.

Our eleven members of Parliament, our eleven MMDCEs, our various party executives, Heads of Decentralised Departments and Agencies, the Businessmen and Women, the Private Sector players, NGOs and CSOs must see the need to support this club. The cascading effects of a lack of a Premier League Club on the tourism and hospitality industry as well as business and commerce must not be lost on us.

Yes, the club may be based in just the Regional Capital but its growth and rise will undoubtedly positively impact football development in our various districts and municipalities.

How can we get the RCC and the MMDAs to lead the charge in getting corporate support from the AZUMAH RESOURCES, the P&W GHANEMS, the GHACEMS, the MYTURNS and their likes for the only Division One Club in the Upper West Region?

In all of this what is the Regional Football Association and the National Sports Council in the region doing? Can’t they equally come into the fray and help the team to stand on its feet? Why would the team have to pay money all the time before being allowed to train and play matches at the Wa Sports Stadium? Mind you, this is a stadium rehabilitated by two illustrous and industrious former Regional Ministers, the late Hon Sahanoon Mogtari and Hon Ambrose Dery and not by the National Sports Council.

The Regional Football Association, clothed with the mandate of overseeing the development of football at the Regional level appears to have been missing in this equation. The Chairman and Executives of the RFA must show leadership and take steps to keep Wa Suntaa FC in the Division One League at least if it cannot be helped into the Ghana Premier League. It is the responsibility of the RFA to engage relevant and identifiable stakeholders on the need to help the course of football development in the Upper West Region. Anything short of this, I doubt whether they are qualified to hang on to their positions.

Let’s not sit unconcerned now only to look back and regret our inaction. If Suntaa SC fails to survive the Division One League, I doubt whether we can get another brave-hearted person like King Arif Daud to put his all into running a Division One Club to the detriment of personal luxury and family responsibility like the President of Suntaa SC is doing. Indeed, football is business as we all keep saying but the cost of running a club is much elevated and sophisticated in our part of the country because of distance and proximity.

In fact, the Club is compelled at the end of the season to offload its best talent to teams in the metropolis to enhance their development because of availability and access to better training facilities and regimes. Ushau Abu of Hearts of Oak, Samad Alonso of Medeama, Alipio of Medeama, Dennis Votere of Ashgold, Kyei Baffuor of WAFA, Aziz Duogo of Karela United are a few of the players that have made it out of Wa Suntaa SC.

A club with such an array of talent does not deserve to be left hanging in the balance. The success of Wa Suntaa SC will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the Upper West Region just like Wa All Stars used to do if not better. All those who keep supporting this club in diverse ways, we are extremely grateful. The Hon Dr. Hafiz Bin Salihs, the Lawyer Hammers, the Hon Hajia Humu Awudus, the Saeed Abdul Faruks, the Lawyer Abdul-Mujeeb Keles, etc, we shall forever cherish your benevolence and magnamity even though we still need more from you to survive and make you proud.

Let everyone be rest assured that our challenges will serve as a springboard for us to reach higher rather than allow ourselves to be drawn back.


By Awudu Ishaq
Staunch Manchester United Supporter

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