President Nana Akufo-Addo has entreated the Black Stars to uphold the principle of teamwork in their quest to win the nation’s fifth Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in Egypt.
Addressing players and officials of the Black Stars, as well as members of the Management Committee at a special farewell reception at the Jubilee House on Thursday night, President Akufo-Addo stressed that teamwork was the main ingredient the team needed to succeed at the tournament.
“It’s been said and I will repeat it: Teamwork is at the heart of every success in football and as it is in every enterprise, without it you cannot succeed. Even the President cannot succeed without teamwork.”
“If the people working with you are not prepared to put in their effort and energy, you will not be able to succeed. Teamwork is absolutely critical and what does it mean? It means you have to work for each other.
“That’s the best meaning of teamwork and in sports especially, you have to work for each other. Religious, ethnic and other divisions do not help teamwork and in the same way they don’t advance the progress and course of the whole nation,” he added.
The President said, “helping each other to win the trophy is the teamwork we are looking at.”
He assured the team that 30 million Ghanaians were behind them and were praying feverishly that the 37 years wait for the AFCON trophy would come to an end this year.
“It’s unbelievable when we think it’s 37 years, especially where since 2008 up to 2017 we hold the record of six consecutive semi-final appearances and we just need one more step to get over the barrier and I believe you will be able to do it.
“Generally, our record has been outstanding as a football nation; one of the very best on the continent, and the time has now come to improve the record and satisfy the demand of the cup.”
The President eulogised the heroes who made the nation proud by winning the four AFCON titles Ghana boasts of and challenged the current players to win the trophy and also enter the history books.
“You know the names; it’s a long list of names: Aggrey-Fynn, Addo Odametey, Edward Acquah, Mohammed Salisu, Ben Acheampong, Osei Kofi, Adolf Armah, Kuuku Dadzie, Mohammed Polo, Abdul Razak, Kwesi Appiah, Opoku Nti, Abedi Pele...these are some of the great names. I saw them all play in their prime and I can testify.
“I want your names to join these names. We want your names to be written amongst these names when the history of Ghana football is told one day. Atsu, Kwadwo Asamoah, the captain and the rest of you. Those names should be described in our history like the ones who have gone before,” he urged.
President Akufo-Addo said he had not to doubt that the Black Stars ranked among the best players on the continent of Africa and the world.
“I am determined to provide all the support I can give to sustain you and give you the best opportunity to bring the cup home,” he assured.
The event was to enable the President to bid the team farewell prior to their departure to Dubai on Sunday for a three-week training tour en route to AFCON 2019 in Egypt.