Former Airtel CEO, Lucy Quist, has performed her first public duties as the Vice President of the FIFA Normalisation Committee currently running the Ghana Football Association by inaugurating the 11-member Accra Venue Organisation Committee (VOC) of the 2018 African Women's Cup of Nations in Accra.
Speaking on Thursday, before inaugurating the Accra VOC, Madam Quist said the sport has proven to be a unifier and teaches vital character traits such as dedication, tenacity and commitment which can be used to drive the country forward.
She also charged the Black Queens (Ghana's female national women's football team) to 'host and win' the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations which takes place between November 17-December 1 in Ghana.
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Lucy Quist swearing-in the committee members
"I see football and sport in general but particularly today football as an extremely important part of our development as individuals and our development as a nation. Sport is about development, it is about skill, it is about commitment, it is about dedication, it is about the tenacity to win against the odds, it is about the willingness to say that I will go the extra mile, even though at this point in time, I am exhausted, I am tired, my muscles are aching and I have a team counting on me and more importantly in their case I have a nation counting on me," Madama Quist said.
"So, I think that we should never let it be lost on us the fact that football is quote unquote a game. There is so much more to it and we collectively should leverage football to drive our country forward because let's face it, it is one of the few things that we all agree on, right? When ou national teams are playing we don't talk about where we are from, what religion we have, we don't talk about our gender, we just support them and once again I believe that with the Black Queens going forward they have the full support of us as the nation of Ghana".
She also lauded all female Ghanaian footballers for serving as an inspiration to the next generation of young female footballers.
"I will like to begin by applauding all the female footballers of Ghana, not just the Black Queens but all of them who produced the pipeline of women who will eventually go on to become Black Queens and those who have gone before them who have set an example and demonstrated to them that women is football is possible and younger women can aspire to participate in football".
Composition of 11-member Accra Venue Organisation Committee (VOC)
The Accra VOC is chaired by Elizabeth Sackey (Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister) with Sophia Korkor (a lawyer) and Vivian Dougblor of the National Sports Authority serving as Vice Chairman and Secretary respectively.
Other members of the Accra VOC are Chief Superintendent Kwesi Ofori, Dr Prince Pambo, Portia Tagoe (Regional Coordinating Council, Grace Acheampong, Ivy Asamoah, Prince Obeng, Emmanuel Clottey (Accra Metropolitan Assembly) and Benjamin William Graham (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation).
The Chairman of the Accra VOC, Madam Sackey in her acceptance remarks assured that all members of the committee would give off their best as a patriotic duty to ensure that the tournament was a resounding success.
She said the Accra VOC will coordinate all activities related to the four participating countries that will be based in the capital using the Presbyterian Boys Senior High School, Legon Park and EL Wak stadium as training venues and the Accra Sports Stadium as a match venue. Referees for the tournament who will officiate games in Accra will train at the University of Ghana Stadium.
The 2018 AWCON, officially known as the Total Women's Africa Cup Of Nations, Ghana 2018, will be the 11th edition of the Africa Women Cup of Nations will be contested b8 eight teams between November 17-December 1, 2018 in Ghana.
The tournament which has Accra and Cape Coast as venues also doubles as the African qualifiers to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. The top three teams will qualify for the World Cup in France. However, if Equatorial Guinea finishes in the top three, the fourth-placed team will qualify.
The eight competing countries are Ghana, Nigeria (defending champions), Algeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, South Africa and Zambia.