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Asenema clinched maiden edition of Odwira beach soccer Cup

The maiden edition of the 2021 Odwira Beach Soccer Cup was clinched by the host town Asenema as they beat Mampong 3-1 in a penalty shootout.

The first ever inland Beach Soccer tournament under the auspices of the Okuapemhene Oseadeayo Kwasi Akuffo III saw twenty towns in the Okuapeman enclave contesting for the Golden trophy sponsored by Betboro under the theme “Sand to Gold;Beating COVID-19”. The Competition started with twenty teams competing in the group stages.

However eight teams made it to the quarter finals. Mampong played Amanokrom in the first quarter finals which they won by a goal to zero. Dawu, Asenema, Apirede all made it to the semi-finals after which a ballot was cast to pair the teams in the one-fourth stage.

Mampong qualified to the final at the expense of Dawu in the first semi- final, However Asenema had to qualify to the final on penalties (2-0)when the game ended 1-1. The Okuapeman Hene ,Nana Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III Later in the day came to the venue.

In his brief address before the final match kicked off, Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III expressed his profound gratitude to the DCE, the Chairman of the Ghana Beach Soccer Committee, the sponsors and Max TV as well as other media partners for bringing such a concept to Okuapeman as host of the first-ever beach soccer inland tournament.

“I’m very excited to be here today to witness this beautiful game for the first time on sand. I had an interaction with DCE about this laudable initiative and I asked him whether it was possible and his response to me was that he has been thinking about this for a very long time so he will do it for me to celebrate the 2021 Odwira festival to honour me and Okuapeman”.

Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III added that he has
been monitoring the vigorous work and sacrifices by all involved and believes this is the beginning of a transformation of the landscape for Sports Tourism, as well as potential creation of new jobs for locals.

Africa’s Record Goal scorer Alexander Adjei Led Asenema in the game against Mampong. The game ended 1-1,in the penalty shoot-out ,Mampong missed two penalties kicks which made Asenema win the maiden Edition of the Odwira beach soccer cup.

At the end of the Competition, Alexander Adjei won the Golden boot with seven goals,Richard Osa won the best player,best Goalkeeper went to Gideon Adjei ,Joseph Awunisi won the best defender and the best coach went to Yusif Abdullai of Asenema.

Yaw Gyamfi Chairman for Beach Soccer Ghana in an interview with the media said that the reason why they were able to do this is to help the youth.
“As you can see we have twenty teams participating in this Competition, assuming we 15 players in every club and this 15 players times 20,that’s about 300 youths that are been engaged, Assuming they are sitting at home doing nothing they will be thinking about going into “sakawa”or any other bad thing.In doing this we are trying to let them know that they have a future so when they engage themselves on such an event,they can be seen on TV or can have a contract like Christian Atsu ,Dede Ayew not only about Association football but beach soccer can also take them afar.”

He continued that they have plans for other regions who are not part of the coastal belt but they have plans to move Brong Ahafo , Ashanti,Oti and other places.

Frederick Adjei-Rudolph,Eastern Regional Director for Ghana Tourism Authority also said that when he was told about this initiative,the first that came into his mind is that when it comes to tourism anything to enhance it is welcome,so they did not even think twice,they put all their weight behind it and they really welcome it.

He added that he wants the Beach soccer to be a daily affair but to be able to that,they will need a lot of funds, resources and sponsorships,for him alone it will be counter productive if they do it Annually.

On issues of Convincing corporate entities to come on board to support such an event he said that”Enough of the beauty pageant and other contest that they do ,this is what will unearth talent,this is what will create jobs and this is what the community will benefit from, so I implore all the corporate bodies to be supportive of this ,the few ones that has come on board ,we cannot thank them enough,we want others to come on board to sustain such an event. For me when we talk about Job creation ,Poverty Alleviation ,it is not only about the central Government,this is what we can do to support the youth and if this thing is sustain, mark it we will see people emerging from this thing we have started to be become international stars.

Africa Record scorer with seventeen goals Alexander Adjei also called on the GFA and the Media to come on board to support beach soccer.
“We need support from the media and the GFA , because the media promote sports in the world ,so if we have support from the media and the GFA beach soccer will move forward in Ghana.

Co sponsors of the Odwira Beach Soccer Tournament Rock Energy Drink, Wilaman Investment- sole distributors of Pura Vida Milk, Last Chance Travel & Tours as well as Round 2 Bitters joined Chiefs, elders and local business interests to boost the massively attended competition.

Local leaders and international guests also accompanied Oseadeeyo Kwasi Akuffo III as the young King made a grand entrance to the venue.

By: Isaac Mortey

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