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21.10.2005 Football News

GFA Boss upbeat about Star's chances in Egypt

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Accra, Oct 21, GNA - Kwasi Nyantakyi, Acting Chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) is upbeat about the chances of the Black Stars in the next African Cup of Nations that kicks off in Egypt in January.

The FA boss is convinced the Stars can glitter in the biannual championship, which would see them meet rivals Nigeria at the group stage.

The Stars are housed alongside Senegal and Zimbabwe in Group D and are to play the Nigerian in a group opener.

Nyantakyi believes the current crop of Stars players had the stuff to make an impact in the 16-nation competition.

He reckons however that each member in Group would come tough irrespective of their various showing during the qualifiers. The Ghanaians remain the only team among the quartet to have qualified for the next World Cup championship billed for next summer in Germany.

"I think Egypt presents us the finest opportunity to showcase our football and use it as a launch pad towards our quest for Germany". Nyantekyi underscores the challenges fellow West African bothers Nigeria and Senegal would present during the group stages but insisted the Ghanaians would have them well cut out.

"Meeting fellow West Africans can always be tough but am sure we have a feel of both teams and advancing past them must not be impossible". Ghana last met the Super Eagles in the Mali 2002 Championship where a second half deceptive long drive by Garba Lawal advanced the Nigerians to the last four.

The Stars recent meeting against the Senegalese was in London where both teams sold out a scoreless game in the duel that marked FIFA world friend lies day.

The Acting Chairman said the Stars have what it takes to make a lasting impression in the competition to indicate their preparedness to take the world by storm in Germany. The Ghanaians remain the only team in the group to have qualified for the Germany event, which would see Africa parading four debutants. Zimbabwe is the only team to have made it to the competition by finishing third in the qualifier and are considered the weakest team in the pool.

Both Senegal and Nigeria finished second in their respective groups. However, Nyantekyi insists it would be suicidal to underrate any team at this stage.

"It would be a huge mistake to underrate any team at this stage. Its important that we treat every team who has managed to come this far equally since there is nothing like underdog in football any more". He said the association would map up a strategic programme capable of bringing out the best in the team ahead of the biannual championship.