General News of Monday, 9 February 2015
Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga has urged Ghanaians to give a hero’s welcome to the Black Stars as they arrive home on Monday afternoon.
Although the team lost the chance to be crowned African champions in the just ended African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, some members of the team swept almost all the prestigious awards of the tournament.
Christian Atsu won both the goal of the tournament and the tournament best player award.
Dede Ayew won the award for top scorer and Cambridge United’s Kwesi Appiah was adjudged the overall Fair Player of the tournament.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Mr. Ayariga, who is scheduled to return with the Black Stars said the players have reaffirmed their loyalty to Ghana once again and must be commended.
He indicated that all through the tournament, the focus of the team was on how to demonstrate to Ghanaians their “commitment to the national team, their loyalty to their country and their determination.”
The Minister was of the view that the least citizens can do is to “show our appreciation and come out and give them a hero’s welcome and let them know that, yes, they didn’t ultimately make up but we saw that they fought for us, and we appreciate it.”
“Ghanaians must naturally demonstrate to them that they appreciate what they have done for us,” he added.
Ayariga also mentioned that the players are distraught over their loss and have been inconsolable since Sunday night.
“Our boys are just waking up to the realization of what had happened and last night, they wept and wept and we were trying to console them and encourage them and let them know that no matter what…” he said.
According to him, the Black Stars are “definitely, definitely quite shocked, and I think that anybody who watched their performance will see the team has brought out its best…the main thing for them has been how to win back their country, and I can assure you that, that has been one of their main driving force.”