The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) has announced a $300,000 dollar sponsorship package for Karela United FC, a premier league club, based at Aiyinase in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region.
The scope of the sponsorship include, the construction of accommodation facilities for the playing body, salaries of coaching staff, a team bus, recruitment and salaries for new players and the maintenance of the playing body.
Additionally, GNPC is providing $100,000 annually for three years, as title sponsor to finance Karela FC’s activities, as spelt out under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the corporation signed with the club.
The Chief Executive of GNPC, Dr. Kofi Koduah Sarpong, announced the package at the commissioning and handing- over of an AstroTurf at the club’s base at Aiyinase.
"On behalf of the Board of Directors and Management of GNPC, I announce with great pleasure that from the 2020/2021 premier league season, GNPC has assumed the role of Title Sponsor of Karela United FC, which would use this park we are here to commission as its home base,” he added.
Dr. Sarpong noted that the parnership would afford GNPC the opportunity to contribute to the harnessing of talents and skills development of the youth and "build social cohesion through football - the passion of the nation.”
Again, the partnership with Karela, he said, was "is in line with our vision to spread the benefits from our petroleum operations to the people of Ghana, especially in frontline communities.”
"It is expected that the re-emergence of a football club from the Western Region and a premier league club base outside the capital would create new economic opportunities in the hospitality, food and beverages sector." the GNPC CEO said.
He explained that, the GNPC, as a Title Sponsor, would have both exclusive and non-exclusive rights, which include, branding at their home stadium, and the embossment of GNPC’s logo on the team’s Jersey.
The Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo- Maafo, stated that Karela FC was fortunate to receive the GNPC sponsorship which would help grow the team to become the future of Ghana' football.
He believed that the sustainability of Karela FC rested on discipline and self conscientiousness at training.
Mr. Osafo- Maafo added: "Karela has the fufuture and we would all encourage you to become the future club of Ghana. You need to be disciplined so that the board and management of GNPC does not regret.GNPC, we thank you."
The Executive Director of GNPC Foundation, Dr Dominic Eduah,told journalists that Western Region produced most resources and should be empowered with good infrastructure especially in football, to help the youth develop and grow their talents.
The District Chief Executive of Ellembelle, Kwasi Bonzo, who is also a board member of Karela, told the journalists that, last year, the team made a request to GNPC for the AstroTurf since the old pitch was unsuitable for effective training.
He said, Karela FC was the only Nzema team in the premier league and needed to be natured and assisted to achieve better heights in Ghana' football.
"Today, the new pitch has been handed over to the district assembly and we are ready to promote to football,Last season, we placed fourth when we played our home matches in Cape Coast.We need to rise up in the league with this new pitch and with the support of Nzemaland, we will get to Africa." Bonzo added.