Ghanaian athlete Gaisah wants to be Dutch
Ignatius Gaisah, Ghana’s Long Jumper has requested for a nationality switch to enable him compete for The Netherlands in future international competitions.
The 29-year-old Long Jumper, who has lived in the European country for the last 12 years, has made a formal request to the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) to grant him the permission to compete for his adopted country.
By the rules of the International Associations of Athletics Federation (IAAF), an athlete needs the permission of his national federation to enable him to compete for another country or stay out of competition for two years to qualify to compete for another country.
Gaisah, in a letter to the GAA secretariat chanced upon by GNA Sports said “I would like you to consider my request to give me permission to compete for the Netherlands as soon as possible, as I won’t compete for many years anymore and would like to use the remaining years to go to the international tournaments and compete in the international circuit”.
He added “without the permission it will be hard for me to continue my career since I need the tournaments to get into the international circuits”.
Gaisah said the decision to acquire Dutch citizenship was on financial grounds and future opportunities.
“The Ghana Federation has always been supportive to me and I hope they will keep doing that, by releasing me to the Dutch Athletics Federation (DAF), having performed for Ghana at the twilight of my career.”
He said he was looking forward to stay in Netherlands after his track and field career and pursue a career in coaching.
Fuseini Bawa, General Secretary of the GAA told GNA Sport “We will give him all the necessary documents he needs to embark on his new journey. We cannot stop him.”
Gaisah is considered as one of the most successful athletes in Ghana. He won silver at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland and gold in the 2005 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.
A year on, he won gold in the 2006 World Indoor Championships in Moscow, Russia and bronze in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.
On the African scene, Gaisah, won gold in the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria, 2010 African Championships in Bambous, Mauritius and silver in the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.