SWAG fumes over sports neglect ahead of elections

The Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) has fumed over the deliberate attempt by political parties to relegate the issues of sports to the background in the run up to the 2012 general elections.

In a statement copied to GNA Sports, the Association said it has observed with keen interest, how the flag bearers on all platforms including the recent Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) presidential debates relegated issues of sports to the back ground.

It said a study of the manifestoes of the two leading parties political parties; National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) demonstrates that though they both captured issues of talent identification and grooming, education and sports, as well as sports infrastructure development, they have failed to use various platforms to further elaborate on those policies, with regards to timing and funding.

“Having observed the political discourse over the last few months, SWAG has noted with great concern the absence of sports related issues from the various political parties, a situation we consider fatal, considering the significant role sports has played in the country over the past years.

“Indeed, sports has over the years served as an instrument for peace and unity; it has also gone beyond its status as an instrument of entertainment but serious business with countries making lot of money from player transfers, participation and organising international events as well as enhanced economic progress of millions of individuals, who engage in sports.

“It will interest the political parties to note that, the Ministry of Sports in Brazil has projected a whopping $105 billion into their economy after hosting international events such as the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

“Out of this, $78 billion is expected to come from indirect investments; that is recirculation of money from the event and 710, 000 jobs are expected to be generated from the events.”

It added; “It will be great interest for the politicians to note that, Argentina is largest supplier of football talents to Europe having deliberately developed a policy to groom and nurture talents for sale in Europe.

“Argentina, has now taken over from Brazil as the largest supplier of talents to Europe and statistics indicated over 1,716 footballers were groomed and sold in  Europe by Argentina and they made $117 million from such transfers according to Sports Marketing Company; Euroamericas.

“With barely two weeks to go for the elections, we are convinced that they can still do a better job by making sports part of their agenda,” it concluded.

Source: GNA

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