A delegation from Ghana led by the country’s president John Evans Atta Mills was invited to the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Tuesday 31 August 2010 to meet FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome you here,” said the FIFA President as he received the Ghanaian head of state. “Many thanks to you and your government for your commitment to sport in general and to football in particular. The socio-cultural aspect of football provides valuable aid to development in terms of education and health, and FIFA is delighted to be supporting Ghana in this respect with the building of the Oguaa Football for Hope Centre in Cape Coast.”
The FIFA President also found time to praise the performance of the Ghana team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. “It was incredible. The team managed to come out on top against some very tough opponents, and at the end of the day they were only a few inches away from being the first African team to qualify for the semi-finals. Ghana had the youngest squad at the World Cup and are currently reigning U-20 champions. You are definitely on course for a very successful future.”
President Mills described himself as “very honoured” to be invited to FIFA headquarters, adding: “We’re incredibly grateful to FIFA and to the FIFA President for the support and help they give us in our football development work. The building of the Football for Hope Centre is something that our government is very proud of, but we would also like to express our gratitude for the trust that you showed in Africa for the 2010 World Cup. Our continent demonstrated that it was capable of rising to the challenge.”
The head of the Ghanaian government was also full of praise for the national team’s performances. “We’re proud of the team which represented our country. In four years’ time, the players will have more experience and confidence, and at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, we will be aiming for the trophy. Let other countries be warned!”