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02.09.2005 Football News

Stars-Cranes: Uganda denies South African backing


Kumasi, Sept 2, GNA - The Cranes of Uganda have denied rumours that they were being induced by South Africa to beat Ghana's Black Stars in their World Cup qualifying encounter in Kumasi on Sunday.

Sam Ssimbwa, assistant coach of the team said, "No South African official has approached us to induce the team neither had we made any proposal for inducement".

Ssimbwa said this in an interview with the GNA Sports on Thursday after his team had done an hour's training at the Paa Joe Stadium in Kumasi as part of preparations towards their qualifying match against the Black Stars at the Baba Yara Sports stadium in Kumasi on Sunday.

"We don't need anybody's backing before beating Ghana, since 1978 the Cranes had always been impressive in their outings with the Stars", he remarked.

The assistant coach, who is a former national star, said the rumour is a calculated attempt to derail his team's attention and focus on accounting for the Stars, adding that his team will however, not be swayed to loose focus.

He said the technical team had psyched up the players to stand equal to the task even though the Stars will be parading some big names in the likes of Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah.

Meanwhile, Ratomir Dujkovic, coach of the Black Stars has predicted total victory for his team in their match against the Cranes.

He said the Stars will not underrate any team and will therefore go into the remaining two matches of the World Cup qualifier with commitment to amass the necessary six points.

Speaking to the GNA Sports at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi after a training session, Coach Dujkovic lauded the commitment with which the entire players reported for camp ahead of their impending match.

The two-hour training session which was well-attended by supporters of the Stars, saw the players going through accurate shooting and passing of the ball, ball possession and penalty kicks. Coach Dujkovic called on Ghanaians to be supportive of the World Cup campaign of the Stars since qualification to Germany in 2006 would enhance the status of Ghana in the world football rankings.