Ghanaian based British charity Right to Dream Academy (RtD) claims its decision to ban 5 players from joining the Ghana U-17s is to protect the players from “unscrupulous agents who want to steal the players and deny them of their years of investment in the players.”

“We have identified certain players who have been targeted by these dishonest agents
and have withheld them from the Ghana U17 team as is our legal right under FIFA
Regulations – we do so for their own personal safety, their long term prosperity, and for
the security of the educational and girls’ programme at the Right to Dream Academy in
Ghana,” an RtD statement said.

Liquidsportsghana.com understands the 5 affected boys have refused to sign contract extensions offered by the club leading to the very unpopular decision to exclude them from the national team. A legal guardian of one of the boys has told www.liquidsportsghana.com, he will not sign the contract that has been offered by the club because his ward does not want him to.

Interestingly, RtD has sent five new players to the national U-17 team following the stand off with the 5 who were initially given the national call ups, making some wonder whether RtD has a quota allocation in the Black Starlets set up or whether invitation to the national team is based on merit.

Liquid Sports Ghana understands the 5 new boys were given the green light after signing the extensions offered by the club, perhaps making them not susceptible to the activities of the “unscrupulous agents.”

Meanwhile, RtD however sought to distance itself from an earlier statement made by one of its top officials, Gareth Henderby, that RtD had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ghana Football Association which gives them the power to stop any RtD player who fails to extend his contract with the club from playing for the national team. Gareth made the claim during a phone conversation with a family member of one of the affected boys which has subsequently been leaked to the press.

“The GFA assured us of their full support and protection that the National Teams will not
be used as the conduit to steal our players thus ensuring that like all other academies
when our players come to the National Teams they are free from the influences of these
unscrupulous agents and their surrogates. However, we have no MOU instructing the
GFA in this regard as alleged,” the statement added.

Below is the full Right to Dream Statement:

Right to Dream Statement
Right to Dream has been committed to improving Ghana football and education for
nearly 20 years. In that time we have produced results for Ghana and its children that
are unsurpassed.
Whilst we have enjoyed some support from Ghana and the various regulatory bodies
associated with our work, we have endured constant attempts to intimidate, threaten
and steal from Right to Dream, which has sadly become part of life operating in Ghana
for us.
Over the last week dishonest agents, disgruntled former employees and sections of the
media – in attempts to corrupt and manipulate players from the Right to Dream
academy for their personal gain – have launched a sustained attack on the academy
with lies about our football operations, our dialogue with the GFA, our stance on the
U17 World Cup, and even the conditions and staff conduct at our Academy. These lies
are designed to discredit us and the work we have done in Ghana to unearth talents
for the country and give bright futures to potential world class players.
We are committed to continuing to offer the best opportunities to the children of
Ghana that have ever been offered through an elite sport and education institution for
free as we have always done for the past 18 years.
We invest an absolute minimum of $25,000 in each of our students every year. We fully
cater for the football training, international education, feeding, clothing, shelter and
medical care of all our students for about the eight years they spend with us.
Students normally play tournaments around the world twice a year and many players
have been to 3 continents to develop their football skills from the age of 14. Right to
Dream relies on the transfer fees of its best players for its survival and to offer the future
generations of children and their families in Ghana the same opportunities while
churning out talents for the country.
The current Ghana U17 squad has players from Right to Dream included in it. Most of
the recent Junior National Teams have had players from Right to Dream in them.
However, Right to Dream, like most football academies in Ghana, have noticed that in
the Junior National Teams, unscrupulous agents who visit the team have used this
contact time with some of the players to force them from our academy by paying
parents, corrupting and confusing the boys in order to try and sell those boys to Europe
for their personal gain. Most of the time this ruins the important first stage of the players’
careers and this leads to us losing all the years of huge financial investments and effort
we commit to these players. In the last U20 World Cup this happened to a player whose
career has subsequently crashed. We will not stand for it.
When we withheld our players from the National U17 Team, the Ghana Football
Association (GFA) engaged us and we explained to them how the National Team has
been used by unscrupulous agents to steal players and deny us of our years of
investment in these players.
The GFA assured us of their full support and protection that the National Teams will not
be used as the conduit to steal our players thus ensuring that like all other academies
when our players come to the National Teams they are free from the influences of these
unscrupulous agents and their surrogates. However, we have no MOU instructing the
GFA in this regard as alleged.
We have identified certain players who have been targeted by these dishonest agents
and have withheld them from the Ghana U17 team as is our legal right under FIFA
Regulations – we do so for their own personal safety, their long term prosperity, and for
the security of the educational and girls’ programme at the Right to Dream Academy in
Ghana.
On 17 August 2017 Peace FM broadcast various allegations about Right to Dream,
including playing extracts from a secretly recorded telephone call that is taken out of
context with the whole conversation.
Other news outlets have now re-circulated such allegations. We have not been
contacted by any of the media houses running these stories for our comment. A clear
indication of their complicity in a one-sided biased story calculated and connived by
rogue agents and their media surrogates.
The allegations about Right to Dream amount to slander on our good name and what
our organisation stands for. We are in consultation with our legal advisers on the
appropriate next steps in respect of all involved parties.
We have for the past 18 years offered an international education to each of our
students in our Cambridge accredited school.
Over 40 of our students, who initially fail to make the professional football ranks, have
won scholarships to the United States to some of the finest universities and schools. The
value of scholarships won exceeds $40m. These graduates are fine ambassadors for
Ghana and will form part of the country’s leadership in the future.
Over 10 of our students have won scholarships to English universities and have gone on
to become professional players – some for the Black Stars.
We have also produced over 35 professional footballers in Europe, many of whom have
played for Ghana. In the last Black Stars games six Right to Dream players were called
to the squads.
We have launched the first elite residential girls’ academy in the history of African
football and five of our girls have already won scholarships to top schools in the United
States.
We want to assure the general public that our academy was formed in Ghana on
Ghanaian ethos and we will count on the support of all in ensuring that talents both on
and off the field are nurtured for the country through our academy, while protecting
our investment in these kids who could have otherwise been far less fortunate as
individuals and as part of their communities.

END

Stay tuned for more on this story….

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