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17.06.2005 Football News

Ghanaian fans to hold vigil ahead of crucial match


From: Daniel Kenu, GNA Special Correspondent, Johannesburg

Courtesy Ministry of Education and Sports

Johannesburg, June 16, GNA - Ghanaians soccer fans based in Johannesburg, South Africa, are ignoring a biting cold weather to go ahead with a planned night vigil scheduled to take place on Friday in Sandton, a suburb of Johannesburg, ahead of a crucial Group Two World Cup qualifier between the Black Stars and their Bafana Bafana counterparts at the FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Organizers told the GNA Sports at the Holiday Garden Court Hotel on Thursday that plans were afoot to rope in Ghanaians in other towns, particularly Soweto, to ensure total victory to keep the nation's maiden World Cup dream alive. The group had thronged the Hotel early Thursday morning hoping to catch a glimpse of the players but had to leave in disappointment because the team was scheduled to arrive later in the evening from Kenya.

The Stars had pitched camp in Northern Kenya to fine-tune and also acclimatise since the East African country and South Africa have the same weather pattern. Ghanaians in South Africa are very optimistic of victory bearing in mind that should the Stars falter it would mark the end of the World Cup dream.

South African newspapers, especially The Sowetan, have highlighted the epic encounter zeroing in on the 8,000 dollar winning bonus promised each player of the Black Stars by government and sponsors, Goldfields Ghana Limited. The paper sees the figure as an epitome of the seriousness of Ghanaian officials but said South Africa could not just afford lose in front of their vociferous fans.

The two teams would be without first choice goalkeepers due to injuries but their significance has been played down. Ghana trail Group leaders Bafana Bafana by three points and must win Saturday's encounter to keep hopes alive.