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20.06.2005 Sports News

Rousing Welcome for Stars


Accra, June 20, GNA - The Black Stars, the Senior National Team, on Monday received a rousing welcome when they arrived at the Kotoka International Airport from South Africa.

Singing bands from various parts of Accra including organised supporters groups and fan clubs of some of the players thronged the Airport to welcome their heroes with singing, drumming and dancing. The fans waited impatiently for the team and mobbed them and the Head Coach Ratomir Djukovic, when they eventually came out of the arrival hall. Some of them, however, looked disappointed when they discovered that Skipper Stephen Appiah was not among those who came home.

Skipper Appiah and Godwin Attram flew straight to Italy and Saudi Arabia, respectively, where they ply their trades, the team Officials told the GNA Sports.

Also missing from the team was goalkeeper Sammy Adjei, who was hit with a nagging injury during training and had to stay behind to undergo surgical operation in South Africa.

Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports, Mr Kofi Nsiah, General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and other officials of the local football governing body were at the Airport to receive the contingent.

Guinness Ghana Limited and La Palm Beach Hotel treated the contingent, to a mini reception at the main auditorium of the arrival hall.

Mr Amoah pledged the continuous support of the Government to enable them to fulfil the long cherished dream of the nation by making it to its first historic appearance at the global soccer festival. He said the operation 12 points was half way through after beating South Africa and called on the players to remain focused and to avoid complacency.

The Minister expressed appreciation to the players for lifting the flag of Ghana high because their performance had put all Ghanaians including President John Agyekum Kufuor in high spirits.

The Black Stars last Saturday beat South Africa in the 2006 World Cup qualifying match played in Johannesburg by two goals to nil to move to the top of Group Two with 15 points. South Africa is second on the table also with 15 points.