There will be two select-sides representing Northern Ghana and Southern Ghana in a commemorative match in honour of the late former Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Sunday, December 10, 2017 at the soon to be re-named Tamale Sports Stadium.
The game organised by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Ghana Football Association will climax the fifth anniversary of the death of Alhaji Ali Mahama and will involve the Northern Best 11 locking horns with the Southern Best 11 with the Aliu Mahama trophy as well as a GHC 50,000 cash prize at stake.
The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide at a press briefing to announce the tie on Monday revealed that the match will be preceded by several activities including a re-naming of the 21,000 seater capacity stadium in Alhaji Mahama’s honour by President Akufo-Addo.
He also explained that, the stadium was being renamed after the late vice president not because of the crucial role he played in constructing it but because of his years of service to the country as well as sports development in northern Ghana.
The Executive Director of the Aliu Mahama Foundation, Samuel Kojo Frimpong said, the foundation was delighted about the decision to rename the stadium after the late vice president.
Mr Frimpong also recalled the role Alhaji Aliu Mahama played in the formation of Real Tamale United, a club he later chaired.
The the Acting General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association, Isaac Addo later unveiled the management of the respective teams, with GFA Executive Committee member, Nii Komiete Doku and Charles Kwabla Akunnor acting as the Chairman and coach of the Southern Best 11 respectively while the Northern Best 11 will be chaired by GFA Executive Committee member, Kweku Eyiah and coached by Aduana Stars coach Yussif Abubakar.
The coach of the Northern Best 11, Abubakar insisted that his side were favourites on account of the fact that teams from that part of the country claimed the Ghana Premier League and FA Cup titles in the just-ended season.
He also disclosed that players including Sadick Adams, Awal Mohammed, Felix Annan, Joseph Addo, Noah Martey and Hans Kwoffie had accepted invitations to join his team.
His opposite number, Akunnor who will be assisted by former Ghana International Laryea Kingston said he was confident of victory because the just-ended season was in the past and has nothing to do with Sunday’s clash.
His assistant Laryea listed Thomas Abbey, Kwame Kizito, Vincent Atinga Winful Cobbinah and Samuel Sarfo as players included in the Southern Best 11.
The late Alhaj Aliu Mahama was a founding board member of Real Tamale United and a contractor who later became Ghana’s longest serving Vice President till date when the NPP came to power in the year 2000.
A visit by Diamond Sports to the stadium on Tuesday showed refurbishment works ongoing at the facility and also a removal of the concrete patches of the old name ‘Tamale Sports Stadium’ in readiness for Sunday. There were also two large banners with a picture of the late former Vice President showing notice of the renaming at two major gates of the stadium including the VVIP gate.