Ghana star Andre Ayew plays down ‘home-town decision’ concerns ahead of Equatorial Guinea cracker

Ghana star Andre Ayew insists his team are ignoring the furore surrounding Africa Cup of Nations semi-final opponents Equatorial Guinea’s supposed favourable refereeing.

Ghana tackle the hosts in the capital Malabo on Thursday in the second semi-final with the air still thick from the scandal of Equatorial Guinea’s controversial quarter-final victory over Tunisia.

The north Africans complained bitterly after that match that the hosts had been given an unfair penalty deep into stoppage time at the end of the game, which allowed them to equalise at 1-1, before going on to win the game 2-1 in extra-time thanks to Balboa’s brace.

It has led to accusations that Equatorial Guinea are favoured by referees, but Ayew brushed off any such concerns.

“We’re not thinking about all that, all we’re interested in is the pitch,” said the Marseille forward.

“We hope everything will go well with the referees. We’re not worried.”

Ghana have reached the CAN semi-finals for the fifth time in a row but 25-year-old Ayew says they are not getting ahead of themselves this time — they have not won the continental showcase since 1982.

“We’re not thinking about the title, we’re only thinking about the semi-final,” he added.

“It will be a very difficult match. We’re playing against the hosts, who have been playing well. We’ll have to be careful.

“In 2012 (again as hosts), they got to the quarter-finals and had a good competition.

“They are consistent. They have good players and are in a state of euphoria. Everyone is behind them, it’s lifting them.

“We’ll have to concentrate hard and impose our game on them.”

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