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09.11.2007 Sports News

Bombers Coach Laments Tourney

Head trainer of Ghana's amateur boxing team, Roberto Ibanez Chavez, is apprehensive that the upcoming African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in Ghana might affect attention for his team's all-important Olympic qualifiers in Africa.

The Black Bombers have been forced to look towards Namibia and Algeria in January and April for qualification to participate in next year's Olympic Games in Beijing, China, after the entire six boxers that participated in the Chicago 2007 AIBA World Boxing Championships in the United States of America failed to win an Olympic spot through the championships.

Consequently, Chavez said he could only hope that some attention would be reserved for the team in order not to scuttle their chances of making maximum use of the chances offered in Namibia and Algeria.

The Cuban told the Graphic Sports moments before leaving Chicago last Monday that the Nations Cup was a real threat to their preparations for the two challenges.

"The Nations Cup is a big thing and it is happening in Ghana. Everybody is waiting for it and we can't help it.
"I pray that it doesn't affect the attention we need to prepare for Namibia and Algeria," Chavez lamented.

The first of the two opportunities will happen by the end of January when the Nations Cup will be in top flight, with the second slated for a more comfortable time when all is over with the continental football fiesta.

Chavez said the team needed to begin residential camping in time to gain adequate preparation for the events.

The Cuban is expected to leave for a short holiday in his home country by November 15, but said a programme covering the training schedule of the team would be drafted in collaboration with his Ghanaian assistant, Ofori Asare, for later implementation.

He said he would return in early January.

Story by Michael Quaye

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