The Ghanaian soccer community has welcomed the news that 2018 will see the inaugural Ghana Football Awards. The ceremony will give public recognition to the players, coaches and teams that have contributed the most to Ghanaian football over the preceding 12 months.
Backed by AE Media Communications, the launch event will be broadcast on Kwese Free Sports, the 24-hour sports channel, when it takes place at the Samsung Premium Rooftop (the former Albert Building) in Accra on Friday 27 April.
Ghanaian football’s growing profile
Ghanaian football has always had a strong local following, but the new awards programme will increase the sport’s profile both in Ghana and more broadly across Africa.
This cannot come at a better time, as technological innovation drives unheralded change in the way people watch and interact with their favourite sport.
The online age is not just bringing in new fans via live streaming and the like, it is also attracting a whole new type of football follower through the advent of online betting.
Sports betting sites and apps are driving many to make the crossover from casino games to sports betting – some of whom know little about the game itself.
Betting on a sport when you know little about it might sound like a recipe for disaster, but there is a wealth of advice available.
In fact, writer David Bailey-Lauring wrote an extensive piece on this very topic, and this was first posted on “Sportsbet blog feed” a few weeks ago.
Giving credit where it’s due
The televised launch will see nominees put forward for the following categories.
- Footballer of the year
- Home-based player of the year
- Foreign-based player of the year
- Coach of the year
- Team of the year
- Goalkeeper of the year
- Women’s footballer of the year
- Future star award
When the nominations are completed, it will be down to a board of judges to decide on the winners. This board will be comprised of journalists, former players, coaches and referees.
The top contenders
We will all have our own opinions on who are the most deserving in each of the above categories, and back in December, we discussed some of the most influential Ghanaian footballers of 2017.
There is no doubt that Richard Ofori will be a strong contender for the goalkeeper of the year award, and is also likely to be nominated for the overall home-based player accolade, too.
The hugely popular and talented Thomas Abbey is another domestic name that is certain to be mentioned.
Of those currently residing overseas, Baba Rahman is a name that immediately springs to mind – since joining Schalke on loan from Chelsea, he has been dogged by injury, but plans to return to action next week, and will have the opportunity to prove himself.
Of course, he will have to get past national treasure Michael Essien first, although the confusion over whether he is or is not still officially on Persib Bandung’s books will not help his cause.
As for the best teams, it is hard to see beyond the Aduana Stars, although Asante Kotoko, Ashanti Gold and Berekum Chelsea are all likely to be nominees.
Announcing the winners
The winners will be announced at a gala night in June and will form a key part of the run-up to the 2018 World Cup.
It is expected to attract TV audiences across Africa and beyond, adding further too the global reputation of Ghanaian football.
It will provide the perfect event to get into the World Cup spirit. But just think how much better it would be if Ghana had qualified!
For more Ghana football news visit www.ghanasoccernet.com