Hon Afriyie-Ankrah, Kwesi Nyantakyi, Sani Daara and coach Appiah addressing the players at the Airport. INSET: Rawlings
Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings has advised the Black Stars to develop a military mindset ahead of the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
The outspoken statesman made the recommendation a few minutes before the Black Stars’ departure to Holland at the VIP Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport last Saturday.
He tasked the 22-member squad to remain focused and act as soldiers on a battlefield, as they confront USA, Germany, Portugal and other countries in Brazil.
He pointed out, ‘Don’t look for an easy way out. You should act as soldiers going for a battle; you should be mentally tough and ready to go the extra mile for Ghana.
‘Me coming all the way here to see you off attests to the importance I attach to the competition you are embarking on. Sports and for that matter football is the only thing that unites us as a people, hence my presence here.
‘Until you develop the mindset to die for your country and yourself, there is no way you will achieve anything. When I say die, I don’t mean physical death but developing the right mindset and attitude in all the matches. You are our soldiers, we are all looking up to you to sacrifice for mother Ghana,’ he said.
Players like Dede Ayew, Afriyie Acquah and Agyeman Badu, in separate words, expressed appreciation to the former president, stating that his words had inspired them a great deal.
Youth and Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah admonished the players to suspend all ‘chilling’ activities and concentrate on the tourney like students preparing for exams.
‘I beg of you to suspend the chilling, go and win the trophy and tell me where you want to chill; Monaco or where? Tell me, I will take you there.
‘Go the extra mile, work extra hard. Besides your normal training, go the extra mile like (boxer) Muhammed Ali was doing,’ he added.
The Minister indicated that Ali was exceptional because of the ‘extra mile’ factor.
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum
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