He said the government would provide the financial and moral support needed to prepare the Black Stars to raise high the flag of Ghana and lift the coveted cup, the first to be held on African soil to start on June 11.
“The Black Stars will lift the trophy and bring the World Cup to Ghana,” he said.
The various supporters unions, including Ghana National Supporters Union (GHANSA), Millennium Supporters Union of Ghana (MISUGHA), National Supporters Union (NSU) and All For One Supporters Union (ALFOSU), sang popular Black Stars songs to mark the launch at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra.
Nana Boro sang a special song, “Do Something Before You Die,” for the Black Stars. Mr Mahama did a kick-off for a ceremonial friendly match between Accra Hearts of Oak and Accra Great Olympics.
Mr Mahama noted that the Black Stars’ splendid performance in the 2006 World Cup in Germany brought joy and glory to Ghana.
Besides, he said, the performance of the Black Stars united Ghanaians, since the event put Ghana first and anything else second.
Mr Mahama said adequate preparations ensured the splendid performance of the Black Stars in 2006, and stressed that the government would ensure the team would prepare towards the 2010 World Cupl.
He, therefore, urged corporate Ghana, businesses, churches and philanthropists to donate in cash and in kind to the National Planning Committee to raise high the flag of Ghana to enable the Black Stars to lift the trophy.
He kick-started the donation with a personal contribution of GH¢1,000, and promised that the contributions would be accounted for in a transparent manner.
Mr Mahama said the government recognised the contribution of sports, particularly soccer, to national development and indicated that the government had developed a National Sports Bill which when passed into law, would ensure the generation of revenue and appropriate technology for the development of sports in Ghana.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Ms Akua Sena Dansua, said the National Planning Committee was collaborating with the media to showcase the tourism, trade and other potentials of Ghana during the World Cup.
She said the Black Stars performed creditably to lift silver at the Africa Cup in Angola, and that the World Cup to be staged on an African soil for the first time presented an opportunity for the Black Stars to shine even better.
“The government will not leave any stone unturned to motivate the Black Stars to perform creditably in South Africa,” she assured.
Ms Dansua said the government was making efforts to cater for supporters and other interest groups, including the media, since the presence of supporters motivated players.
She said a number of activities, including a corporate dinner and the placing of special bins at shopping centres, had been planned to raise funds to support the World Cup campaign.
Ms Dansua said special national prayers would also be held at mosques and churches for the Black Stars.
The President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, said this was the first time Ghana would be participating in three world cups in the same year — Black Stars in South Africa, Women’s Under 20 in Germany and Girls Under 17 in Trinidad and Tobago.
He said the GFA had “elaborate plans to lay a strong claim to the competition”, starting from the first match on June 13.
Mr Nyantakyi thanked the government for its continuous support to the campaign, including the sponsoring of 2,000 supporters to South Africa.