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Normalisation Committee Must Take A Closer Look At Beach Soccer - Ampofo Ankrah   
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The man widely acknowledged as the founding figure of organised beach soccer in Ghana has congratulated both Senegal and Nigeria for claiming the two spots reserved for Africa at the next FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.

Senegal claimed their 5th Afcon Beach Soccer title after annihilating Nigeria 6-1 in the Afcon Beach Soccer final to qualify for Paraquay 2019.

"I'm happy for the two teams because they are simply a step ahead of the rest. I hope this time around, solid preparations would propel Africa to reach the FIFA final proper in Paraguay"

Ultimately, Libya, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Morocco and newcomers Tanzania were simply not close enough to the ruthless standards set by the dominant West Africans especially Senegal.

Ampofo Ankrah asked the Normalization Committee to take a critical look at Beach Soccer and create a department such as pertains in Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Morocco, Madagascar and so forth.

"We can forgive the past GFA for not taking beach soccer seriously because they were focused only on green - grass football. But after almost a decade of beach soccer growth without any support from the Football Association, it is time to do the right thing".

Due to the inability of the previous GFA to submit details and confirm participation in the qualifiers, the Black Sharks of Ghana were absent at the Sham El Sheikh resort for the first time since 2015.

The Sharks made an impressive Afcon debut in Seychelles by recording wins over the host nation and Senegal 9-3 and 4-3 respectively.

Although Ghana failed to qualify for the World Cup at their first attempt, the Goal King title came home thanks to 17 goals by Teshie based Alexander Adjei.

"I remember very clearly that it was the late Alhaji Sly Tetteh who presented the first Beach soccer balls and jerseys to us with the encouragement that in a few years time, beach soccer would take off in Ghana. I think this is the time".

2019 could offer Ghana a number of routes back onto the international stage with tournaments in Cape Verde, San Diego and the Copa Lagos in Nigeria all lined up.

Among the top ten ranked nations in Africa, Ghana (9th) is the only team that does not have a department or division under their FA.

Instead, over the years, the responsibility of developing and promoting beach soccer in Ghana has been taken up by CALBank through the Ghana Beach Soccer Association culminating in the creation of over thirty teams across the Volta, Central, Western and Greater Accra regions.

Ampofo Ankrah believes that corporate Ghana is waiting for the right signals to come from key stakeholders like the National Sports Authority, Sports Ministry, the Ghana Olympic Committee etc in order for lost trust and confidence to be regained in Ghana sports especially football.

"Even though Ghana beach soccer has been struggling, I hope the Normalization Committee recognises the extraordinary support of CALBank to keep the sport alive over the past years. We must court corporate Ghana and satisfy their needs too"

However, with Ghana represented on the CAF Beach Soccer Committee by Felix Ansong, it is expected that he could also initiate a move to create a new beach soccer department through the Normalization Committee in consultation with the NSA.

The next Afcon Beach Soccer tournament would be hosted by Uganda in 2020.
Source: Ghanasoccernet.com

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