Beta

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Keta Pitch and Community Centre

July 10th, 2011 by admin

As part of our ongoing efforts to provide infrastructure for our clubs, Sandlanders Football has been working with Architecture for Humanity UK on designs for a pitch and community facility to be developed in Keta.

As well as providing a first class facility for the development of footballers in the area, it will also act as a centre for educational and cultural activities for the whole community and will be owned by the Keta Sandlanders FC Co-operative Society.

In the long term we would hope to develop equivalent centres for each Sandlanders club.

Click here to see an early rendering of the site, please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.

July 10th, 2011 - Author: admin

Keta miss out on Middle League

May 1st, 2011 by admin

A 2-1 defeat for Keta Sandlanders away at Orderily FC today means that we finish second in the group and do not qualify for Middle League in Ghana’s Division 2.

We finished the season with 19 points from 10 games but Orderily’s win sees them qualify with 20 points.

The players are very disappointed but we will be back next year!

May 1st, 2011 - Author: admin

Football in Togo & Benin

March 7th, 2011 by admin

As part of our ongoing research into the state of club football in Africa, Sandlanders recently travelled to Togo and Benin, two West African countries with a troubled recent football history. We would love to expand our network to francophone Africa and crossed the border from Ghana in early February hoping to find clubs surviving despite recent problems which have seen both countries threatened with suspension by FIFA.

Click here for photos.

Togo

2010 was an annus horribilis for Togo which began so tragically in Angola where a bus carrying the national side through the disputed province of Cabinda during the African Cup of Nations was attacked. Three lives were lost; the team pulled out of the tournament and was subsequently banned for two years by CAF for the withdrawal (an incredibly insensitive decision which was thankfully later reversed). Clearly disturbed by the incident and after long running issues with the local FA, star player Emmanuel Adebayor retired and before the year was out there was still time for a ‘fake’ national side to lose 3-0 in Bahrain and for the country to be threatened with expulsion by FIFA after Togo’s President tried to install his brother as head of the local FA.

Togo’s FA woes have caused the local league programme to be abandoned and we arrived in the capital Lomѐ intrigued to find out how football was coping in the absence of a formal league structure. Local leagues stop all too frequently in Africa (Togo’s has been dormant for over a year now) and when the leagues shut down the clubs are the biggest losers as they miss the revenue that can be raised from playing in games and frustrated players move elsewhere looking for regular football.

We first made our way to the local FA housed in a modern – FIFA Goal funded – building within shouting distance of the national stadium to arrange a meeting with the Vice President of the Federation. After finishing with the FA we headed straight for a series of playing fields next to the national stadium. The fields were packed with teams with around 6 different games going on at once. We were watching informally organized ‘academy’ leagues where Togolese and Nigerian coaches put players from Togo, Nigeria, Ghana and elsewhere through their places. We were told that one academy had sent 60 players to Europe already but such claims are impossible to verify and it is well known that Africa’s academies vary greatly in quality from the admirable to the exploitative. If there is no formal league structure in place it is understandable that other groups will move in to try to fill the void in the programme. Players still want to play and it seems the ‘academies’ are providing that outlet at the moment.  

Our meeting with Mr. Tino Edoѐ Messan Adjete, the Vice President of the Togolese FA (who has particular responsibility for marketing the local league) offered insight into how the league trying to get back on its feet. The VP was off to Paris that evening on his way to a series of meetings looking for sponsorship for the local league. Seeking sponsorship for African leagues is still no easy task and it is difficult to turn up to a meeting on behalf of the Togolese FA and ask for money to run your local league when the league itself has stopped because the Federation is in dispute with FIFA. The VP was engaging however and clearly had good ideas as to what the local leagues needed to grow. The difficulty will always come through implementation. Sponsorship is often linked to governance as corporates need to be convinced they can trust the groups they are providing money to and sadly this has often been diffiult to establish in the African game. Mr. Adjete was confident that the league will resume again soon and we wish him well in his search for sponsorship. Every country needs a formal league structure with at least some degree of regulation and in its absence unchecked academies and other informal structures will take its place. The clubs (such as reigning champions Maranatha Fiokpo) are still there but training and playing friendly matches is not enough and the longer they lie dormant the more difficult it will become for them to hold onto players who will drift off elsewhere.

Benin

In common with its neighbour, Benin’s FA has clashed regularly with FIFA in recent months. While we were in the country a rival faction within the Benin Football Federation (BFF) elected a new President, an appointment which FIFA has subsequently refuse to recognize and they seem constantly on the verge of expulsion from football’s governing body. What is different here is that the troubles have not stopped the local league which we found to be thriving.  

To understand the local scene we met with Francois Mensah (Benin’s leading sports journalist), in the shadow of the national stadium in the capital Cotonou. In spite of the FA’s problems we were told that the Premier League is still functioning well and that a local businessman had recently donated $20,000 to not just one but eight different Premier League sides in an effort to stimulate the game. It is this level of private (and in some cases corporate support) that is helping the game to stay strong in Benin at the moment. There is a fluid movement of local players throughout West Africa and we are told that Benin is currently a favoured destination for a growing number of those players. Pay and conditions are reportedly better than those in other parts of the region including supposedly more established footballing nations such as Ghana. Pay and conditions of course relates to money and it seems that for whatever reason local people are supporting the local game more in Benin.

In both Togo and Benin we found that irrespective of the bad news and power struggles football life was continuing and there was optimism for the future. In Benin it was impressive to see a healthy league supported by individuals and companies, money was coming into the game. In Togo a local league is desperately needed and after a tough year getting the requisite corporate support will be harder than ever. People are trying however and as long as love for the game endures there will be individuals who keep fighting to make things better. We look forward to working in both countries soon and remain on the look-out for eligible partner clubs.

Stop Press

 

Since our return Mr. Adjete’s search for sponsorship goes on and Togo national team Coach Thierry Froger last week resigned from his position to take over as coach of French second division side Nimes.

 

In Benin, Tonnerre d Abomey lead the ongoing Championnat National after 16 games and the rival FA factions show no signs of settling their dispute.

 

March 7th, 2011 - Author: admin

Keta Sandlanders 2-1 Iron Boys

February 9th, 2011 by admin

Keta Sandlanders made it 7 points from 3 games in Ghana’s Division 2 after a second half comeback against Iron Boys FC at Tackcorner Park, Agbozume. Iron Boys opened the scoring against the run of play in the first half but Sandlanders fought back strongly in the second period and scored 2 goals in the last 30 minutes to take the victory. Goals were scored by striker John Mensah and defender John Yaw Alphonse.

Click here to see a video of the goals.

February 9th, 2011 - Author: admin

Mutundwe Sandlanders Cup Loss

February 9th, 2011 by admin

Mutundwe Sandlanders are out of this year’s Bell Uganda Cup after a 2-0 loss to current cup holders Victors FC. After a stunning victory against African giants KCC in the last round, we couldn’t repeat the feat against a side playing at continental level this year. Great experience for our young side and we now go back to focusing on qualification for the FUFA Big League (Uganda’s second tier league) this season.

Click here to see pictures from the game.

February 9th, 2011 - Author: admin

Keta Sandlanders ready for new season

January 12th, 2011 by admin

Ghana’s Keta Sandlanders are looking ahead to a fresh assault on the Volta Regional Division 2 League which is scheduled to begin on 23 January 2011

The League will be broken down into mini-leagues of around 10 teams each. If we win the mini-league then we advance to Middle League (a 2 week tournament featuring all of the other mini-league winners) to fight for a single place in Ghana’s national Division One League.

This is a tough qualification process (with 88 teams registered in Division 2 this season) but the players have now all arrived on camp in Keta and regular updates will keep you informed of our progress. To become a part of this season you can purchase a Keta Sandlanders package here (free if you are in Ghana).

Fixtures should be published in the next week and we will post them here as soon as we receive them. In the meantime we will be facing Shooting Stars (Middle League qualifiers last year) in a friendly double-header today and again on Sunday.

Click here to see Ghana’s Premier and Division One League tables.

January 12th, 2011 - Author: admin

New Sandlanders website launch

January 12th, 2011 by admin

The launch of sandlanders.com is a big event for Sandlanders Football. For those of you familiar with our work, Keta Sandlanders FC opened its doors to international members back in 2007. Since then our model of international fans supporting a local co-operative has grown. A single club has expanded into a network, and we hope visitors to the site will become active supporters of sustainable football clubs in Ghana, Uganda and Liberia. 

We are grateful for the support of Chembe Ventures, whose seed capital has helped us launch this site. We are planning to roll out new features over the coming months and we will also be seeking further funding to develop this platform over time into a fully fledged social network for our members. Please Contact Us to let us know your thoughts on how the site can be improved. In the meantime, please look around, enjoy the site and above all Become a Sandlander. The more people that join, the bigger the Sandlanders movement will become. 

Membership is free if you are in Ghana, Liberia or Uganda and international membership packages are available from $10. Packages entitle you to gifts including wristbands and shirts. You’ll soon have another way of supporting the development of clubs in Africa, by buying our kits from the Sandlanders Club Store.

January 12th, 2011 - Author: admin

Mutundwe Sandlanders defeat KCC

December 30th, 2010 by admin

Our first Ugandan club – Mutundwe Sandlanders – claimed a huge victory yesterday as they knocked 8 times Ugandan Super League winners KCC out of the Bell Uganda Cup. 19 year-old Ismail Sseggujja scored both goals in a famous 2-1 victory which has created a great deal of fuss in Uganda. In English football terms the result is the equivalent of knocking Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal out in the 3rd round of the FA Cup so the boys have done incredibly well.

You will be able to follow Mutundwe’s progress in the Bell Uganda Cup and the Kampala Regional League at sandlanders.com. The club has already produced a number of players who have represented Uganda’s national side and we are expecting big things from the present crop of players. To become a part of this development you can purchase a Mutundwe Sandlanders package here (free if you are in Uganda).

Click here to see what the Ugandan press made of the result.

December 30th, 2010 - Author: admin