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Neglected Ghana National Deaf Team Black Wonders Wins Gold   
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Neglected Ghana National Deaf Team Black Wonders Wins Gold
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The Ghana National Deaf football team, Black Wonders is the newly crowned champions of the just ended 5th edition of the West African Deaf Sports Football tournament held in Togo after beating their Nigerian counterparts 3 goals to one and also striker Eric Nyame winning the Golden Boot Award with 10 goals as the top scorer of the tournament.

Participating in this tournament was a period of joy as the team together with their management executives planned and arranged for everything so they go for the tournament and this started with a lot of training.

The tournament constituted eight West African companies namely Togo, Liberia, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana and Niger.

Despite taking their proposals and budget which amounted to US$100,000 through National Paralympics Committee to the Sports Ministry four months before the beginning of the tournament, they were replied only three weeks left to the start of the tournament with just a letter in hand to go look for sponsorships.

According to Mr. Kinsley Ansah, an executive member of the Ghana National Deaf Union, they had to go begging on the doors of corporate companies to assist them in terms of sponsorship packages but to avail only to be told that their request came in late.

He said “even the churches could not help us because we came too late”

Even though they did not get any sponsorship or government support, their Vice Secretary Kinsley Esah who couples as a part owner of the JVG group of Companies and the sole sponsor of the team paid for the transportation fee for the team. The amount for their transportation `was GHC 15, 000. This amount got them a sprinter bus bearing GN 3606 – 14 which took them from Ghana to Lome Togo. The 23 sitter capacity bus conveyed 25 people for the tournament.

The 'neglected' heroes had to go through difficult times traveling back home as their bus got faulty at the Togo border which delayed their arrival into the country.

According to the President, Joshua Mahama Numei, they went without any help from the authorities and even a call to check on how they were faring never came. The Organisers of the tournament gave us accommodation which was not a hotel but on the park.

“We had no choice but to make use of the little we have; food was even a problem as the players did not even get nutritious meals to even motivate them play. Because of our situation, players had to eat Gari before going to play a match.Not even the National Supporters Union, Reps from the Sports Authority or Ghana Football Association came to support or cheer the team up even in the finals” the President, Joshua Mahama Numei revealed.

The coach Winfred Annan speaking on ATV's "Agudie Mu Mmere" with Obiba Prince Anim Brown said he had to go look for help with their jerseys from the Denmark Disability Sports Association and this is what the team wore right from the beginning of the tournament to the finals.

He said “we the executives have to go all out to call on friends and families to help us out”

After all these hustles and bustles, the black wonders performed wonders at Lome Togo as they beat their Nigerian counterparts 3-1 in the finals. Not only did they win the trophy but also had Eric Nyame scoring 10 goals to win the Goal King and warded with the golden boot.

He further noted that government should help them because even without support, they fought hard to win gold for the country. “We are humans and able bodied persons. We are only deaf and that does not make us useless. Pay attention to us and you will see that we will not disappoint you” he added.

Despite their success in Togo, the team had no one to welcome them on their arrival in the country. Also as part of their usual proceedings, a press conference which was organized had no official from the Ministry or Sports Authority present.

The workers at the press conference room and the VIP room at the national stadium denied them access to use the premises for their meeting with the press because they claimed they had no information of their meeting from their authorities and so had to hold the press conference outside with their trophies displayed on some plastic tables.

A country who says football is its passion and does this to these young warriors is a question we have to ponder on.

Source: Reagan Odei Ofosu Osarfo/ATV

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