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26.08.2004 Football News

Be fair in criticising Barreto -Aggrey

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Accra, Aug. 26, GNA - Mr Joe Aggrey, a Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports has said it was wrong for Ghanaians to use the Meteors-Japan match at the Athens Olympic Games as a premise to conclude that Coach Mariano Barreto was incompetent.

He said it was only fair that in drawing such a conclusion, the coach's general performance must be taken into account.

The deputy minister made the comment at an informal meeting with players of the various national teams in Accra on Thursday. The meeting, which was originally meant for the Black Meteors, the national Olympic soccer team to formally welcome them and to show the ministry's appreciation for their efforts, was attended by only Daniel Coleman plus the under-21 team currently in camp preparing for their qualifier against Ivory Coast on October 3.

The rest of the Meteors players have either gone back to their foreign bases or were out of Accra hence their inability to attend. However, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) intends to give each one of them personal calls to express appreciation for their effort. Mr Aggrey urged them to stop "mourning and wailing" since it was not the end of the world but rather, they must concentrate on the Black Stars-Cape Verde Island World Cup qualifier on September 5, since the Meteors form the nucleus of the senior national team.

The minister, Kwadwo Baah Wiredu, said the loss against Japan should not dampen the team's spirit but should rather "rekindle our hopes for the future."

He announced that playmaker Stephen Appiah had been selected as a member of the Master Card (best 11 players at the Games) saying that it should be a consolation for the boys.

GFA Chairman, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe was optimistic that future stars could be produce out of the current Olympic squad and urged them not to give up hope.

He hinted that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) had selected Ghana to build a special Soccer Academy off the Accra-Tema Motorway for which the GFA had acquired a 10-acre plot in readiness for its take off.

Meanwhile, the government has concluded arrangements to beam all the home matches of the Black Stars World Cup qualifiers live to boost the morale of the boys to perform better. 26 Aug 04

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