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27.02.2008 Sports News

GFA zooms in on 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup

By Daily Graphic/Maurice Quansah
GFA zooms in on 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup
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After failing to accomplish their much trumpeted 'host and win' campaign at the MTN Africa Cup of Nations, the Ghana Football Association has announced a more audacious task.

The FA is aiming at a two-prong crusade aimed at winning a fifth continental title in Angola and a semi-final target at the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup.

'Agenda 2010' is the GFA's new slogan unveiled on Tuesday at a press conference at the GFA House in Accra at which the GFA President, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, reviewed Ghana's performance at the just-ended Nations Cup and later set the agenda for Angola 2010 and South Africa 2010.

Even though the Black Stars won bronze on home soil, the GFA president is hopeful that the southern African country will be fertile grounds for an assault on the continent's most prized football prize and months later, attempt to reach the last four at the sport's biggest global gathering in South Africa.

He announced that the GFA hopes to finalise a contract extension with Stars coach Claude Le Roy early next month after which the 'Agenda 2010' will be developed into workable components.

"When the coach comes, we'll meet with him and hammer home Agenda 2010 and work out the tenets, the strategy, selection and all that," Mr Nyantakyi said.

Ghana's 2010 Nations Cup and World Cup qualification campaign commences with a home match with Libya on June 1 at the Baba Yara Stadium, followed a week later with a game with Lesotho in Maseru.

As part of the FA's plans towards the June 1 World Cup/Nations Cup qualifier, Mr Nyantakyi promised to keep the Stars busy with a combination of competitive and arranged friendly matches on all FIFA match days beginning with a friendly international against Mexico at the Craven Cottage in London.

After the Mexico game on March 26, Ghana will play yet another friendly in May 25 in London.

For the GFA boss, Agenda 2010 will be pursued with all the importance it deserves, particularly given the pecuniary benefits of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup where each team is guaranteed an appearance fee of 5 million Swiss Franc. It represents an increment of about 500 percent over the appearance fee Ghana received for qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

After reviewing Ghana's performance at the Nations Cup, the GFA President noted that the association's Executive Committee was disappointed at the team's failure to win the ultimate prize but was "largely satisfied with the team's overall performance".

That performance appraisal informed the GFA's decision to offer Le Roy a contract extension to cover the 2010 World Cup.

"Claude Le Roy has not performed badly. His overall performance is good. He won five out of six games at the Nations Cup and has been in charge of 18 games, and losing only to Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Cameroon."

"We don't think that the loss to Cameroon is a reason to sack Le Roy; let's give him another chance," noted the GFA President.

While Le Roy is to be maintained, his assistant, Selas, Tetteh, has been re-assigned as the head coach of the Black Satellites with a view to revamping the technical team.

However, the FA will only announce a replacement for Tetteh after consultations with Le Roy as demanded by his existing contract.

Mr Nyantakyi maintained that the GFA prefers a head-hunting approach than advertising for the vacant position in pursuance of a policy to groom the assistant coach for a higher role in future.

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