Skipper for the Black Stars, Andre Dede Ayew has stressed that unlike past tournaments, Ghana is not part of the favorites to lift this year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Africa will see as many as 24 countries competing at this year’s AFCON for the first time in the tournament’s history. Top football playing countries like Senegal, Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, and the likes will be gunning for the prestigious tournament this year.
Ghana, who has been to the semi-finals of at least all the last 5 AFCON tournaments will be hoping to break a 37-year old trophy drought in search of a 5th title.
Whiles many believe their past performances make the team favorites ahead of the tourney, Captain of the team, Dede Ayew insists that tag cannot be placed on them because they are not as strong as they used to be in the past.
According to him, defending Champions Cameroon, Senegal, Egypt and Nigeria are the favorites for this year’s continental showdown.
“Let’s be honest, Ghana has had a great team for the last 12 or 13 years from the Appiah, Muntari and (John) Mensah generation, the 2006 World Cup to now. The country has always been able to keep a certain level of performance especially in the AFCON”.
“Surprisingly, this is the first time since I am playing an AFCON where we aren’t favorites”.
“We’re usually the top 2 or 3 favorites and we always get to the semis or final but this time other countries like Senegal, Egypt, Cameroon, about 5 or 6 countries are ahead of us,” the Black Stars captain said in an interview at their camping base in Dubai.
Meanwhile, Ghana is expected to arrive in Egypt where they will camp at Ismaily for the Group phase of the competition. They have been drawn in Group F alongside Cameroon, Benin, and Guinea Bissau.