In 2002, FIFA honoured Ghana
in recognition of its youth development programmes. This was just reward for the Ghana
Football Association's successful, long-term work in this area that resulted in triumphs in the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 1991 and 1995, a runners-up spot at the FIFA World Youth Championship 2001, and a bronze medal at the Olympic Football Tournament in 1992. League championships are organised at national (first division) and regional levels (second and third divisions), for women (at national level), and for young players in the U-12, U-14, and U-17 age groups. Ghana
have won the African Cup of Nations four times (1963, 1965, 1978 and1982), but have dropped down the pecking order in recent years. Ghana
have now hit top form again by qualifying for the FIFA World Cup? in Germany this year for the first time in their history. The women's national team has twice taken part in the FIFA Women's World Cup finals (1999 and 2003). The nation's most celebrated footballers include Ibrahim Sunday (African Player of the Year in 1977), Abdul Razak (African Player of the Year in 1978, now coach of Asante Kotoko), and Abedi Ayew Pele (African Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992, now a member of the FIFA Football Committee). Other famous names are Tony Yeboah (played in England and Germany), Samuel Osei Kuffour (defender with Bayern Munich in Germany) and Marcel Desailly (dual French-Ghanaian citizen who has had a long and successful career in the French national team). The best-known female player is the national team's centre forward and captain, Alberta Sackey, who has made the step up to top-flight football in the USA with Majestic Club.