The much awaited AWCON 2018 tournament set aside for the power houses of African women’s football, Ghana is honoured to host seven other countries – Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Mali and Zambia from the 17th November to 1st December, 2018 in Accra and Cape Coast.
Ghana as a country was given the mandate by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in 2017 to host the 11th edition of this much coveted tournament and since then, much efforts have been invested for a successful tournament – from the Government of Ghana, football administrators, Media, fans and the general public.
To begin with, A seven-member Local Organising Committee (LOC) was set up, headed by Hon. Madam Freda Prempeh to see to it that the first time in the country’s history, this tournament will be a memorable one.
For a successful tournament, the LOC chose the Accra Sports Stadium and the newly built Cape Coast Stadium to host this soccer fiesta. The EL Wak Sports Stadium and PRESEC Park will serve as training pitches for those who will lodge in Accra including the host nation Ghana, Algeria, Mali and Cameroon while the Robert Mensah Sports Stadium and Ndoum Sports Complex will equally treat the holders of the tournament Nigeria and other group B teams South Africa, Equatorial Guinea and Zambia in their training sessions.
Additionally, Venue Local Organising Committees (VLOC) was set up for the two hosting cities to see to the progress of the tournament in their respective cities and also to work with The National Sports Authority (NSA) in the area of publicity, hotel facilities and branding. So far, tremendous work have been done for the smooth entry of participating teams and the travelling fans from across Africa.
The Official Mascot of the tournament, by the name “Agrohemaa” meaning The Play Queen has contributed immensely to the visibility of the tournament by touring all the ten regions in Ghana while visiting radio and televisions stations to create awareness.
The Official song for the tournament was composed by the trio of legendary Highlife singer Akosua Agyapong, gospel singer and a football enthusiast Grace Ashie and Afro pop singer Wiyala.
On the tournament, the Black Queens of Ghana is looking forward to host and win this particular tournament for the first time after coming second on three occasions in 1998, 2002 and 2006.
What they say
Many personalities have shared their thoughts on the upcoming tournament:
“I believe this tournament will help to create more awareness and also project women football in Ghana.
“Since we are hosting the tournament for the first time, I am hopeful that our women can win the trophy for Ghana,” says the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Mrs. Rebecca Akuffo Addo.
Minister for Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah also echoed the First Lady’s resounding hope.
“My sweet ladies, we have said that we are hosting but we are not just hosting but hosting and winning. Let me be honest with you, this tournament is about you. Demonstrate your sense of hardwork and patriotism because Ghana is waiting on you, get us the Gold and nothing but the Gold,” said Asiamah.
One of the gladiators and the Skipper of the Black Queens, Elizabeth Addo acknowledged the difficulty in the task at hand but also expressed her hopes of doing the nation proud.
“This year’s tournament is not going to be easy. Every team participating will be coming for the ultimate but I believe as a host nation we have a big task to win the competition but it is not going to come easy.
“I have belief and (I’m) very confident we can make mother Ghana proud when the competition begins,” said Addo.
To conclude, as the slogan for the tournament suggest “YesWeCan “, Ghana is fully prepared to host the rest of Africa in the 11th edition of the Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
God bless Ghana, God bless Africa!
By Prince Abeiku Yorke Twitter: @abeikuyorke