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15.06.2005 Football News

Minister Gives Stars Boost


Accra, June 15, GNA - As the Black Stars come up against South Africa in a crucial World Cup qualifier on Saturday, the Ministry of Education and Sports is urging the team to be motivated by the desire to play among soccer greats at the World Cup and to enhance their own market values.

The government, together with new sponsors Goldfields Ghana Limited, has promised each player 8,000 dollars, the highest ever, should they win against Group Two leaders South Africa in Johannesburg. But the sector minister Yaw Osafo-Maafo and his deputy O. B. Amoah told the GNA Sports at separate interviews that the huge winning bonuses should not be the motivating factor to win but rather the wish to make history as the first squad to qualify the nation to the World Cup and also to participate in it.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said government was prepared to provide all the necessary facilities and even go the extra mile to enable the team to qualify but added "all these would be meaningless if the boys are not prepared to die for the nation and be hungry for success". He expressed the hope that the players and their technical handlers would rise up to the occasion to record yet another memorable victory for Ghana.

Ghana trail South Africa by three points and must win Saturday's encounter to keep a maiden World Cup dream alive.

The Stars are scheduled to fly out of Kenya to Johannesburg later Wednesday after a week's training session to fine-tune ahead of the crunch duel.

First-choice goalkeeper Sammy Adjei who took the knock during a training session in Kenya would miss the match while two leading strikers, Baffour Gyan and his junior brother Asamoah Gyan, have been hit by injuries. 15 June 05