Contact - TUFA

Contact

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the aim of the football academy?
2. How is the football academy related to FC Utrecht?
3. Where is the football school and why is it there?
4. How are the players protected from exploitation?
5. What are the plans to ensure local competition does not suffer from the arrival of the football school?
6. How does the Ghanaian population benefit from the football school?
7. What are the feelings of the Ghanaian football clubs towards the football academy?
8. Are there any ambassadors linked to the football academy and if yes, who?
9. Many clubs get rid of their satellite clubs. Why would TUFA succeed?
10. What is the role of Frans van Seumeren?
11. How did the cooperation between Frans van Seumeren and Abdulai Alhassan originate?
12. What is Abdulai Alhassan’s background?
13. Did TUFA take over a club or did they start a new club?
14. How many players will the academy have, and in which age group?
15. Who takes care of the training?
16. How are players selected and by whom?
17. Does TUFA work with sponsors and donors?
18. Who are the other partners?
 
1. What is the aim of the football academy?
The Tamale Utrecht Football Academy in Northern Ghana (TUFA) offers youths in Northern Ghana a better future through football.
 
TUFA is a professional football school where football players can follow training, education and life skills programs. Thus they are prepared for a better future, within or away from football. The youths have fun with football, acquire a school certificate and learn important skills.
 
TUFA also concentrates on the development of the local football competition and in preventing human trafficking.
 
2. How is the football academy related to FC Utrecht?
TUFA is a joint initiative by Frans van Seumeren (large shareholder of FC Utrecht, however, operating privately) and Abdulai Alhassan (see also question 11 and 12). The football academy wants to provide a better future for young people in the north of Ghana, through football.
 
TUFA and FC Utrecht are partners. TUFA is not part of FC Utrecht, however, it benefits from the knowledge and experience of FC Utrecht in order to achieve its ambitions:
1. To develop a strong team which the residents are proud of and with which they can identify
2. To support clubs from the region
3. To provide societal program together with local clubs, other aid organizations and local partners
 
Apart from the exchange ofknowledge and experience TUFA benefits from the partnership of FC Utrecht in terms of:
 -  Materials
 -  Image and its network
 
3. Where is the football school and why is it there?
Kasalgu, a town fifteen minutes travelling distance from Tamale. Tamale is situated in Northern-Ghana, has 360,579 residents (2007) and is the fastest growing city in West-Africa.
Initially, Frans van Seumeren wanted to start the football school in Cape Coast (Southern-Ghana). This is where he met Jacob Aihoon, coach of Be Just FC. Jacob visited the Netherlands at the end of 2009. Around this time, Frans van Seumeren came into contact with Abdulai Alhassan and Jolanda Goes. They suggested that the football school be started in the north of Ghana, because the football sector there has not been developed adequately. The arrival of the football school offers football players from the north the opportunity to develop in their own environment. The football school is furthermore also enormously positive for the image of the North and it provides a positive impulse for the football competition in Northern Ghana. Be Just FC is now a partner club and still sponsored by Frans van Seumeren.
 
4. How are the players protected from exploitation?
The purpose of the football school is to offer a better future to football players in the North of Ghana and the community in which they live. Football players are therefore trained for a career both within and away from football, to provide them with a back-up if their football career is not successful. Furthermore, football players are also guided intensive by a mental coach, TUFA implements an age limit of 14-21 and TUFA complies with the FIFA-rules and the Foot Solidaire Charter for the Protection of Young Athletes.
TUFA deems the protection of African football players to be extremely important and therefore provides information on human trafficking in the football world in cooperation with partners all over Ghana.
 
5. What are the plans to ensure local competition does not suffer from the arrival of the football school?
Every African player (besides perhaps players from South Africa) wants to go to Europe because the local competition is too weak. Because this need cannot be removed over night, we do three things:
- We ensure proper supervision of players who do go to Europe
- Fiar transfer fees and re-transfer fees to clubs
- Development of the local competition via lobbying, research and support (via means and expertise)
 
Furthermore, it is also true that:
- Every player always wants to go further to the top, also in Europe.
- The establishment of the football school resulted from the need of the Northern Ghanaian football players themselves, to create opportunities in the north for themselves and to prevent migration to the South.
- A second successful football club in the north of Ghana is a positive contribution to the image and confidence of the region.
- From studies, it appeared that football academies could actually have a thoroughly positive impact (Right to Dream Academy, strengthening the national eleven)
- The drawing away of football players to Europe is not the only cause of the under development of the local competition: Bad management and corruption also play a large role.
 

6. How does the Ghanaian population benefit from the football school?
TUFA is a social project that reaches further than only its own players. The following projects are organized for the community:
1. Fellowship Program and Ambassador Event: stimulating important life skills for a better future
2. Information about human trafficking and football migration
3. Support to local competition through fair transfer fees, knowledge and means

 
7. What are the feelings of the Ghanaian football clubs towards the football academy?
The football clubs from the Tamale Region were involved intensively with the planning of the football school from the start. Initially, the idea was to establish a training centre where the best players from the region could get additional training, to thus increase the level of the local competition. The local football clubs however recommended that an own club should be started. The local clubs and the Ghanaian Football League are extremely happy with TUFA’s arrival, because it will have an enormous impact on the opportunities of the North-Ghanaian football players, local competition and the image of the region.

Brainstorm meetings are organized regularly for the local clubs and the local branch of the Ghanaian Football League. During these meetings, sport and social issues are discussed and plans are made to deal with these issues.
 
8. Are there any ambassadors linked to the football academy and if yes, who?
TUFA has two ambassadors:
- Nana Asare (FC Utrecht)
- Iddi Abdul Yakinu (KV Mechelen)
 
9. Many clubs get rid of their satellite clubs. Why would TUFA succeed?
TUFA is not a satellite club and also no part of FC Utrecht. It is a social project aimed at the sportive and social development of Northern Ghana. If we can offer our football players and other youths in the area a better future, whether within or away from football – then our mission was successful. The Right to Dream Academy in Accra (Ghana), amongst others, shows us that this is quite possible.
 
10. What is the role of Frans van Seumeren?
Frans van Seumeren is the owner, financer and chairman of Board of Directors.
 
11. How did the cooperation between Frans van Seumeren and Abdulai Alhassan originate?
Frans van Seumeren and Abdulai Alhassan met each other through Sjaak van den Helder. When Van den Helder approached Alhassan as director of FPI to include him in the portfolio, the latter told him about his dream of starting a football school in the north of Ghana. At the time, Frans van Seumeren was also mulling over the options in Ghana and thus Van den Helder linked the two up.
 
12. What is Abdulai Alhassan’s background?
Abdulai Alhassan and Jolanda Goes met each other in Ghana at the end of 2005. Alhassan played for amongst other Abedi Pele’s Nania FC and the two prepared a portfolio that Jolanda Goes took with her to the Netherlands in February 2006. Jolanda Goes contacted Nol de Ruiter and eventually De Ruiter helped Alhassan to come to the Netherlands on an internship with FC Utrecht. Because of the high salary demands, FC Utrecht could however not offer Alhassan any contract and the pair therefore left for Belgium, where Alhassan eventually ended up at Racing Mechelen.
 
13. Did TUFA take over a club or did they start a new club?
TUFA established its own club following the recommendation by the football clubs in the Tamale Region, called the Tamale Utrecht Football Club (TUFC). TUFC starts this year (2011) in the second division.
 
14. How many players will the academy have, and in which age group?
The academy starts with 25 U14 players. After three years when these players finalize Junior High School, a second generation will move into the complex. Players stay at the academy until they reach the age of 20 years.
 
15. Who takes care of the training?
The training is taken care of by the Ghaniaian technical staff, making use of the  training program of the FC Utrecht.
 
16. How are players selected and by whom?
Players are selected by Abdulai Alhassan and the technical management during matches and tournaments.
 
17. Does TUFA work with sponsors and donors?
TUFA works with sponsors, both in Ghana and in the Netherlands.
Paul Pessel Sport and the FC Utrecht Fanshop sponsor the materials.
 

18. Who are the other partners?
FC Utrecht
Paul Pessel

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Masnomis – Soka Afrika

Ghanaian Football Association (GFA)
University of Development Studies, Tamale (Ghana)

Be Just FC