Sports News of Monday, 24 October 2016
Former Ghana Football Association (GFA) Vice President, Mr. Fred Pappoe has said, Ghana will travel far if Avram Grant assembles the best players to represent the country at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon.
Ghana will come up against Mali, and the 2018 World Cup qualifying opponents the Cranes of Uganda who qualified to the biennial tourney for the first time since 1978 as well as seven- time continental champions, the Pharaohs of Egypt, who missed the last three editions for the continental showpiece.
With this, the Black Stars have a stern test to face as they chase a fifth AFCON title since 1982.
Mr. Pappoe, currently a Board member of Accra Great Olympics told the GNA Sports that, the Black Stars can travel in the tourney if the players are dedicated, committed and ready to sacrifice for the country.
“With commitment, dedication and readiness to sacrifice, and if we are able to assemble our best arsenal for the competition, Ghana will go far,” he said.
The competition is scheduled for January 14 to February 5, in the Gabonese cities of Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil.
Meanwhile, Ghana and Liefering FC midfielder, Samuel Tettey, is confident the Black Stars will qualify out of the group if the right approach is adopted for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.
Ghana’s group, consisting of Egypt, Uganda and Mali has been termed ‘group of death’, however, the play-maker, Tettey believes with the right technical approach and focus from the team, Ghana can progress to the next stage of the continental showpiece.
Tetteh told the GNA Sports, that “we can survive the group because we have the qualities and we believe in ourselves. The other teams are also aware of our toughness and know that, Ghana is a difficult team to beat’’
According to him, Ghana needs to beat the best to be counted as a force and that with hard work and determination; the Black Stars will win their games.
The Black Stars will open their AFCON campaign against Uganda on January 17, before they take on Mali four days later and square up with Egypt, who is making their return to the contest after missing three finals on January 25.
The opening and final matches will be held at the Stade de l’Amitié in Libreville, whilst Stade de Port Gentil hosts the third place match.
The quarter-finals will be played in each of the four venues with the semis taking place in Libreville and Franceville.