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08.07.2004 Football News

Satellites gain walk over on Gabon

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Accra, July 8, GNA - The national U-20 team, the Black Satellites has gained a walk-over Gabon in their African Youth Championship qualifier originally billed for this month due to the latter's withdrawal.

The Gabonese according to Mr Kwasi Nyantekyie, Chairman of the Black Satellites Management Committee cited financial reasons as the basis for their withdrawal.

The Satellites was originally scheduled to play host to the Gabonese later in the month to book qualification to the next Youth Championship. The Chairman who expressed mixed feelings about the withdrawal when African Football (CAF) as well as the Gabonese Football Federation. He said even though he welcomed the news, he said the Satellites would have rather loved playing their counterparts in their quest to build a formidable squad for the championship.

"But it's all well and good. We can at least save some money and prepare for the next assignment", the Chairman jokingly said. The Satellites next opponent is however not yet known.

Mr Nyantekyie said the team would carry on with their preparations irrespective of the current withdrawal adding, "We will go ahead with our preparations with the knowledge that our next opponent will not come cheap".

Meanwhile, coach Francis Oti Akenteng has expressed relief about the withdrawal but insisted that, "We were well prepared for them and would have loved to translate our recent local victories onto them". He said the team will however go according to plan by engaging in some crucial international and local friendly matches to afford them the needed exposure.

The Satellites began their preparations about a month ago and has managed to record some impressive winning formulas to achieve vital victories over teams such as Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak among others.