In the Upper Region, one of the key social amenities you cannot see as a region like any other region in the country is a functional regional sports stadium for sporting activities and only a few in the region are worried about such sorry development.
A Development Economist with the University for Development Studies (UDS) and CEO of Kasaligu Arrow Heads FC Dr. Michael Ayamga-Adongo on his Facebook wall on Sunday, January 23, 2022, said when he passed through the Bolgatanga Stadium which is supposed to be a regional stadium, “The stadium is in a terrible shape. You would rather hunt grass cutter there than play football”.
He added: “To put it in perspective, the regional capital does not have a pitch good enough for division one games. The least said about training pitches the better. Teams from the region have to travel to other regions to play their home games”.
However, he called on Northern Development Authority, Regional and M/DCEs and MPs in the region to see the sports stadium as a development issue.
Below is his full Facebook post:
THE SORRY STATE OF FOOTBALL INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE UPPER EAST REGION
I passed by the Bolgatanga Stadium yesterday. It reminded me of my last goal for my team soccer missionaries (now Zuarung FC) in the Milo games.
The stadium is in a terrible shape. You would rather hunt grass cutter there than play football.
To put it in perspective, the regional capital does not have a pitch good enough for division one games. The least said about training pitches the better. Teams from the region have to travel to other regions to play their home games.
The Astro Turf under the zongo project is less than a standard pitch and cannot be used for Association football. How and why we spend millions to construct such a pitch beats my imagination.
We are all complaining about the black stars’ embarrassing outing at AFCON. Well, those are our chickens coming home to roost.
A country willing to spend $25 million to prepare for a tournament and almost zero on player development infrastructure is even lucky to qualify for the tournament in the first place. TROPHIES ARE WON AT TRAINING NOT AT TOURNAMENTS.
Comoros defeated Ghana because they put money in football development. Years ago, we played and strived so we could get the opportunity to meet the President. Today, the President has become an agent calling and begging players with Ghanaian last names to play for Ghana. Coaches used to travel round Ghana to discover talents.
Now we employ coaches who read websites to select players. We used to export the best players. Now we Import rejected players.
Back to the Upper East. Unlike other regions, the water table in the upper East is relatively good and stable. With mechanized boreholes we can develop and maintain good training pitches.
The northern development authority ought to see this lack of a standard pitch and training facilities for football as a development issue. The regional Minister, M/DCEs MPs etc ought to see this as a development issue.
Football is widely seen by many as an alternative livelihood and career path. True. The other side of the coin is that, football contributes significantly to school dropout. As a club owner, I have come across thousands of young boys and girls who left the region to join clubs and football academies in the south and by that truncated their education.
Many did not make it in football and have become part of the growing unemployment problem. Developing football infrastructure means expanding education alternatives. It is not just a game.