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16.11.2005 Football News

Ben Koufie predicts good World Cup for Black Stars

By GNA
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Accra, Nov 16, GNA - Ben Koufie, a FIFA/CAF technical instructor and a former chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has predicted a good outing for the Black Stars in their maiden appearance at the World Cup in Germany 2006.

Speaking to the GNA Sports in Accra on Wednesday, the former GFA chairman said the Black Stars had the capacity to make an impression by at least getting to the knock out stage.

He, however, added that the progress of the team, would also in part, depend on the group in which the Black Stars would be pooled at the draws and the kind of opposition that they would encounter. Ben Koufie said the success of the senior national soccer team was the result of cumulative effort by those charged to oversee the development of the game and the new level of commitment exhibited by the players during the qualifiers.

He said a lot of work had gone on over the years and all executive members of the GFA had shown the zeal to guide the team to its maiden World Cup in 2006, after Ghana had missed the boat narrowly on a number of occasions.

The former chairman praised coach Ratomir Dujkovic for doing a good job, adding that he instilled discipline into the team and gave the players a new fighting spirit that cushioned their success. "Perseverance was a major factor because the players kept fighting and never gave up till they achieved their objectives" He said added to team discipline, "the boys were willing to play football," while official support was marvellous in terms of incentives and the whole nation was mobilized behind the team, putting the spirit of the nation behind them.

Ben Koufi said the most fascinating part of the Black Stars game during the qualifiers was when they were defending in midfield. The technical instructor said coupled with the unflinching character of the team, the pivotal role Stephen Appiah played, as captain of the Black Stars was also significant.

"The captain was a good leader who was very committed to the cause. He was disciplined and had a good attitude which influenced the character of the team," he concluded.

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