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05.09.2004 Football News

This is Ghana's moment, go for it - Aliu urges Black Stars

By GNA

Kumasi, Sept. 5, GNA - Vice President Aliu Mahama, on Saturday, encouraged the Black Stars, to put whatever snags they have had behind them and strive hard to win Ghana a place in the World Cup.

"This is Ghana's time. If you achieve this historic feat, your names would be boldly written in gold and Ghanaians would salute you whenever they come across them", he told the senior national soccer team when he visited them at their camp in Kumasi.

The Black Stars that would be captained by Samuel Osei Kuffour of Bayern Munich, will play their counterpart from Cape Verde in the World Cup Qualifying Contest at the Kumasi Sports Stadium on Sunday. The Black Stars has never made it to the football's most prestigious competition.

But the Vice President, who was once the chairman of the Real Tamale United, challenged the players to break the jinx this time round. He observed: "There is no logic in football and the game certainly has its ups and downs, but a combination of determination, dedication, discipline and hard work often wins the day."

Vice President Mahama said: "You should not be arrogant but be humble and submit to authority. Showing humility and listening to your coaches and your supervisors will not take anything from you". He assured them that in spite of a tight national purse, every effort would be made to provide for their needs to make them comfortable.

Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, also advised the players to rise above their past disappointments and not to underrate their opponents.

Mr Kwasi Nyantakyi, Vice Chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), described the Vice President's visit as a huge morale booster to the team.

On behalf of team, Osei Kuffour said they deemed it an honour to play for the nation and pledged the team's commitment to do Ghana proud. He said Cameroon, which played in the last World Cup, had before then failed to qualify for the African Cup of Nations and promised that The Black Stars would endeavor to do likewise.

Head Coach Mariano Barreto and other members of the technical team as well as the management team of the GFA were with them.

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