Ghana is coming to the Germany'06 not as observers- JAK
Accra, Dec. 15 GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday expressed optimism about the chances of the senior national team, the Black Stars, in the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament in Germany, saying: "We would not suffer first time jitters." He said it had not been easy for Ghana to enter the big league and that once there, it was determined to make a huge impact. "We are not coming to Germany as observers but to play and hopefully win the Cup", he said.
President Kufuor said this when Mr Franz Beckenbauer, Chairman of the FIFA World Cup 2006, paid a courtesy call on him at the Castle, Osu. He was in the country as part of a tour of the 31 nations that had qualified for football's most prestigious competition to congratulate them and to invite them to Germany. President Kufuor said football enjoyed tremendous following and passion among Ghanaians and for that matter the country was proud to be taking part in the competition at long last, after years of unsuccessful attempts. He said what was important was: "We are taking part in the competition".
President Kufuor noted that through football the volume of hatred and violence in the world could be lessened. Mr Beckenbauer, a celebrated football star and coach, observed that Ghana was in a tough group, saying: "It is not an easy one and I wish the team good luck." Ghana is in the same group with Italy, Czech Republic and the United Sates of America. He said it was great to be playing in the biggest event in the world and extended an invitation to President Kufuor to come to Germany. Mr Beckenbauer has already been to Togo and is scheduled to travel to Cote d'Ivoire on Friday.