Ashanti Warriors beat Accra Giants to win MTN Skate Soccer tourney

Ashanti Warriors finished tops at the first ever MTN sponsored Skate Soccer tournament, toppling Accra Giants 3-2 in the final of the competition launched at the weekend in Kumasi.

Skate

The Ashanti regional representatives thrashed Western Tigers 5-1 in their preliminary game to set up the decider against their rivals from Accra who themselves saw off Zongo Lions 2-0 in thrilling fashion in the competition supervised by the International Skate Soccer Federation (ISSF) and played by physically challenged persons, mostly polio survivors who sit on a slightly larger skateboard to play football with their hands.

It was a final which lived up to the billing as both sides came out determined to outwit the other but it was Ashanti Warriors who came off the blocks quickest, combining speed and agility to take a 2-goal lead early in the contest. Accra Giants were however not overawed and through the able leadership of national captain, Sani Gariba fought back and managed to pull a goal back before the end of the first half. The side from the capital city were soon level, 2-2 few minutes into the second half courtesy Mallam Ahmed's equaliser. It was not to be a happy ending however as Mohammed Bello converted a late spot kick to clinch the victory for Warriors to send Kumasi gay with excitement.

“MTN always seeks to promote a positive relationship between the brand and the customer by demonstrating unique understanding of customer needs and therefore appreciate the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of these unique and creative people,” said Simon Amoh, Senior, General Trade of MTN in his speech to express the sponsors’ delight in associating with skate soccer.

"MTN is inspired by the tenacity and strength of the players and pray and hope for the growth of the sport to attract more teams so that it will keep the physically challenged meaningfully engaged. We appreciate the Can-Do spirit displayed by both organizers and the players by embracing the idea that disability is not inability and desire that participants will be able to discover their dreams as well as inspire many people facing similar challenges in their lives," Mr. Amoh added.

In the event, Ashanti Warriors have qualified for the grand finale and will standby to await the winner in the next round of the competition scheduled for Accra on 29th June ahead of the third event on 27th July, also in the Ghana capital.

Long before then however, Albert Frimpong, Chief Executive of IFSS, reveals talks are ongoing with MTN Ghana for their sponsorship to expand the game to cover the entire country.

“The idea of introducing the sport to the world was to discourage begging for alms by the physically challenged and to make them more relevant to the society and economically reliant. We thank MTN so much for their support and also express profound gratitude to Binatone for supporting us until MTN's taking over,” Mr. Frimpong said.

This is not lost on the sponsors, on whose behalf, Simon Amoh further commended the IFSS for championing the cause of the physically challenged and assisting them to identify their talent in skate soccer and prayed for unending success for the sport in this country for many years to come.

“Together with the teams and IFSS, we hope that skate soccer will grow in Ghana and beyond and that in future, you will win for us gold at the Olympic Games. Yes you can,” Mr. Simon Amoh urged.