Tom Vernom, Managing director of Right to Dream Academy has debunked claims that his outfit have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ghana Football Association.
Right to Dream Academy, one of the leading football academies in Africa, is reported to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the GFA on the conditions regarding the release of its players to the Ghana U-17 Team after an audio conversation between the CEO of the institution and an uncle of one of their players Kevin Ofori, having a heated arguments in regards to the player’s contract.
In the tape, a RTD officials detailed that, until the player (Kevin Ofori) commits himself contractually to Danish club, FC Nordsjaelland, the player will not be allowed to play for the Black Starlets in the upcoming U-17 World Cup in India.
The RTD official was categorical in pointing out that the Academy had signed an undertaking with the GFA, giving them the authority to release only contracted top players for the National U17 team.
However, Tom Vernom speaking Anopa Bosuo Sports on Accra based Happy FM, refuted the instantiated claims.
“The U-17 don’t come and scout our players, they come to Right to Dream to ask us to recommend players, so at the moment we have three players in the U-17 national team, and we’ve also have identified players who are targeted by unscrupulous agents who are trying to ruin the careers of the boys for their own personal financial gains. These players have been with the Academy since they were 10 years old, we have invested about 25,000 a year, every year taking them around the world to develop their talents and they will turn around and say that they don’t want anything to do with Right to Dream, they don’t want to extend any contract with Right to Dream but they just want to go and play for the national U-17 and go on their way afterwards.”
He added, “But in our culture, I think the one of the most important things is to respect where you come from and to those who gave you the opportunity to progress. And if we let them have their way like they want, with all the investment in them, how do we run the academy. We depend on the professional players we have nurtured in order to keep growing and keep offering opportunities to the next generation. So we discussed with the FA and they told us that they only want players who are committed and respect the opportunities that have been given to them because those are the kind of characters they want in the U-17.”
“We do not have to anything against the players in question because they are minors, it’s not their fault, they’re under the influence of wicked people, we’re trying to work with the parents and advise them so that they see the right and correct path and then they can play in the national team. We’ve had examples of previous junior national where players who have big potential for the future of the Black Stars have been taken away by people who are thinking about their own financial gains. If you look for those boys now you can’t find them in Europe or playing in useless clubs where they can never be selected to the national team. On the other side, you can see guys like Thomas Agyepong, who came to the academy and followed the system we have and now he’s one of the emerging stars in the Black Stars, he played for the U-17, U-20 and now the Black Stars.
“This is basically what we want for the boys, but to talk of us using our influence with the FA to coerce players to sign contract is not true because there’s nothing like that. I don’t what kind of influence I’m suppose to have over the FA, they’re independent and governing body. I don’t understand any influence I’m alleged to have we work in partnership with them because they respect the work we’re doing in Ghana. Like I mentioned in my earlier submission, they only want us to recommend players who respect the development that has been given to them and who are going to be on the correct development path to make sure they become national assets, it’s simple as that,” Vernom concluded..