Sports News of Sunday, 31 January 2016
The Ghana Black Starlets under the tutelage of Coach Emmanuel Kwasi Afranie and ably supported by Oti Akenteng led Ghana to wins its second trophy at the youth level after previously winning in 1991.
The FIFA U-17 World Championship kicked off in Ecuador with Ghana’s unequalled record of three Final appearances and two wins had them tagged the team to beat in this age group and didn’t surprise the pundit and many bookmakers who had made the Starlets the favourite when Ghana beat Brazil 3-2 in the final match.
But in an interesting turn of event, former starlets player and a member of the Ecuador 95 success story had revealed what he termed as ‘spiritual assistance’ the secret and not the favourite tag as the reason for the triumph. The play-maker nicknamed the dribbling magician believes a powerful prayer from one Pastor Acquah Isaac and a daring message claiming should they fail to win the trophy he’s willing to give up his church as the tool for the success.
Coach Oti Akenteng who is currently the technical director of the Ghana football association and leader of the delegation that called on the Pastor before the team departed for the youth championship disagrees with his former player and doesn’t believe that was a guarantee for their victory in Ecuador.
Speaking to Kumasi based radio station, Boss FM 93.7, the former Heart of Lions coach said, “Yes Awudu is right, we visited Pastor Isaac Acquah before we departed for Ecuador. He prayed for us! I led the team there because that’s where I fellowship and I’d faith and believe in the man-of-God.”
“He assured us of world cup success but we also knew how to pray and so we did and we also put in hard-work into the competition and that also contributed to the success we chalked but not because the pastor prayed or prophesized we won,” he added.
The recent Ghana Black starlets have struggled to perform better or even closer to the 1991 and 1995 group and it has become a national concern as that stage acts as a feeder team to the rest of the national teams namely, the U-20 (Black Satellites), the U-23 (Black Meteors) and the senior national team (the Black Stars).