Okraku handing over a Black Stars jersey to Ex-President Kufuor
The Black Stars have received a father’s blessings from former President, John Agyekum Kufuor, ahead of this year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The Stars go into the forthcoming FIFA World Cup with positive pronouncements from the statesman under whose watch Ghana picked their first ever World Cup ticket when Germany hosted the event in 2006.
And attributing what accounted for their impressive showing, he zeroed in on players’ physical fitness.
Sixteen years ago, the Black Stars qualified from a group that housed Italy, United States of America, and the Czech Republic. They defeated Czech, who were ranked second at the time, 2-0, before beating the USA 2-1 to secure qualification to the round of 16.
The Black Stars will make their fourth appearance in Qatar this year, and officials from the Ghana Football Association(GFA) led by President Kurt Okraku, met with former President Kufuor ahead of the tournament.
The former President said, “We must be physically strong at the World Cup because in 2006, the Black Stars performed better because of the strength of the team, you look at the captain, Stephen Appiah and then characters like Sulley Muntari, you can’t just push Sulley down. The Asamoah Gyan’s, and the Essien’s were physically fit.”
He added, “So, one thing I pray you would ensure is that they go to the pitch physically fit to battle with other countries. We shouldn’t be walkovers, so we must be strong, smart and have stamina towards goal, we must work as a team, single purpose team to hit into the post.
“When you do that I’m sure you will come away with flying colours. So, you have all my blessings, and prayers. I pray that it shouldn’t be only the first round, they should continue to the quarter and semi-finals. The nation awaits good news from the team.”
Ghana are pitted against Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay at the group stage.
By Kofi Owusu Aduonum