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31.05.2019 Cup of Nations

AFCON 2019: Prez. Akufo Addo Charges Black Stars End 37 Years Trophy Drought

By Samuel Ekow Amoasi Appiah
AFCON 2019: Prez. Akufo Addo Charges Black Stars End 37 Years Trophy Drought
MAY 31, 2019 CUP OF NATIONS

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the Black Stars to win this year's Africa Cup of Nations to honour the nations 'Year of Return' slogan.

Ghana will embark on a mission from June 21 to July 19 as they seek to end the country's long absence of winning any trophy for the past 37 years.

The Black Stars will battle it out against Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau in Group F.

The president was speaking at a dinner on Thursday evening as the team prepared to depart for camping in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.

“Teamwork is at the heart of every success. Without it, you cannot succeed in football, and as it is, in every enterprise," President Akufo-Addo stated, as published on the Government of Ghana website.

“Teamwork means all of you have to work for each other. Religious, ethnic and other divisions do not advance teamwork.

“You are the Black Stars of Ghana and it doesn’t matter whether you’re from Jamestown or Nalerigu or Walewale, you’re the Black Stars of Ghana.

"Helping each other to win is the sort of teamwork I’m talking about.

"So, your slogan, that is [Ghana's] slogan of the year - ‘The year of return’. This indeed is the year of return."

Ghana won the Cup of Nations in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982 after which they finished second in 1992, 2010 and 2015.

"You have to respect unreservedly the authority of the coach and the authority of the captain [Andre Ayew]," Akufo-Addo added.

"That is basic rules, non-negotiable rules; if you don't do it, everybody will be going their separate ways.

"If you do that, you cement the teamwork and you will become a cohesive forceful force.

"It is my intention to come and watch your first match [against Benin] on the 25th of June and if with God's grace, which I believe He will give us, you make the final, I would come there as well to come and watch you."

The 'Year of Return' is a national campaign urging all Ghanaians in the diaspora to make a trip to Ghana in 2019 to mark 400 years of the first enslaved African arriving in Jamestown, Virginia in the Americas.

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