Black Stars utility player, Harrison Afful emerged the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Footballer of the Year, at the 40th MTN-SWAG Awards heldĀ on Saturday.

Afful, survived a stiff competition from fellow Black Stars players Andre Ayew and Asamoah Gyan to win the enviable award.

The former Esperance player who now plies his trade with Columbus Crew in the United States of America (USA), was represented by former Black Stars player Joe Addo and his family at the event held at the plush Banquet Hall, State House.

Former Bechem United player Augustine Okrah won the Premiership Player of the Year after beating off competition from Kwabena Edusei and Abeiku Ainooson.

Other award winners were; Discovery of the Year – Martha Bissah, Promising Star of the Year – Sharon Akwei (Para Tae-kwondo), Female Footballer of the Year – Jennifer Cudjoe, Amateur Boxer of the Year – Omar Abdul Wahid, Professional Boxer of the Year – Richard Commey, Judoka of the Year – Razak Abugri, Tae-Kwondo Player of the Year – Sharon Akwei, Hockey Player of the Year – Elizabeth Opoku, Athlete of the Year – Martha Bissah and Coach of the Year – Isaac Nii Odartey Lamptey.

Other winners Ali Jaraah – Dedication & Valour and Referee of the Year – J.O. Lamptey.

Messrs Edmund Zankoh, Rex Danquah, Anthony Baffoe and Akorlya Pattel were decorated with special awards for their contribution to the development and promotion of sports in Ghana, whilst McDan Shipping Company and Dwadifo Adanfo won special corporate awards.

Mr. Kwabena Yeboah, President of SWAG said it was becoming clear that, the state cannot continue to fund sports hence the need for the private sector to support.

He however noted that, the Ministry of Youth and Sports must expedite the process of eliminating bureaucratic bottlenecks involved in granting corporate bodies tax rebates for supporting sports.

Mr. Yeboah said, the era of recreational sports ought to pave way for more professional base sports development and management in Ghana.

The President said, the state must also ensure equitable distribution of resources to all sporting disciplines if Ghana is to offer meaning to true sports development and promotion.

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