Abedi Pele, Sammy Kuffour, Anthony Yeboah and Karim Abdul Razak. What do these four names have in common? They’re all football legends from Ghana, and they were definitely part of the list of African best players of all time. However, they have something else in common that a soon to be launched crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo wants to address: while they were all key players in the Black Stars, the truth is that they made a name for themselves and found true success when their football talent was exported… and Ghana mostly lost it.
It’s true. Ghana has always been a generous gold mine for top football talent to be exported to the world’s greatest clubs. Still, while we should be proud of it, we should not forget that every time that we make the world of football in Ghana unwelcoming or at least not appealing enough for our athletes, we are always impoverishing our national sports and undermining the great potential that should be turned into accomplishments in the national Ghanaian football world.
There are many problems that lie at the heart of this issue, but one of the most pressing is definitely the lack of infrastructure to support the aspirations of our young athletes. The lack of access to professional-grade football facilities for young athletes and teams to train themselves and grow used to the kind of surface, grass and environment where professional football takes place is a serious problem. The fact that we as a society are beyond passionate about football but consistently turn our backs on our football players precisely when they need us the most—when they’re young talents in need of training, empowerment and opportunities—is another problem.
That’s why, at Keerapa Active, we’re in the process of launching an IndieGoGo campaign aimed at changing this situation.
On the one hand, we will seek to raise $50,000 to help fund an ultra-modern facility in Sogakope, where children and youth who take their passion for football seriously will find a quality and safe place where they can exercise and improve their skills while seeing their local communities becoming involved with these local talents and clubs—which are true pools of precious Ghanaian talent.
On the other hand, we will seek to turn the attention of Ghana’s football-loving people back into our national football, so that we can all notice, admire and support the wealth of football prowess that our athletes can offer. This way, our aspiring Black Stars won’t feel like they need to leave the country and sell themselves short to European clubs for a few dimes only to get a shot at success.
Instead, we want to create an environment where a professionalizing avenue for football players in Ghana is available, and which allows them to become true football stars within the country, strengthening the national world of football and supporting the progress in African football in general. If we, as Ghanaian football fans can do this, then, when they do get invited to join the world’s largest clubs, our football stars will be free to accept because they want to and not because they have to—and in contractual and payment terms that are fair and advantageous to them.
This, of course, while not leaving the national rising athletes left to fend for themselves in a sport that is already highly competitive as it is for us to expect athletes to get good at what they do while playing in barren or dusty fields.
At Keerapa, our ultimate goal is to build this kind of facility across the country so that every community can easily adhere to our “Everyone needs to play” mission. However, we need to start somewhere, so we decided that Sogakope is the launching ground—and we’re inviting you to join us by clicking here to sign up for our IndieGoGo Pre-Launch.
With your support, we will make football in Ghana as exciting and rewarding as it should be. Join us in kicking off the dream!