The Ghanaian government will reportedly offer a special financial package for the national team ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in June and July.
The Black Stars are looking to win the AFCON for the first time since 1982 and it is believed that the package will provide an extra incentive for coach James Kwesi Appiah and his players.
The decision of the government to provide a financial incentive was reached after President Nana Akuffo-Addo met with team captain Asamoah Gyan and his deputy Andre Ayew a few weeks ago.
NSA Board Chairman Kwadwo Baah Agyemang confirmed the meeting in Kumasi but refused to divulge any details.
“It’s true they [Gyan and Ayew] met President Nana Addo to discuss winning bonuses and everything that would be needed to help Ghana win the AFCON,” Agyemang is quoted by The Finder.
“I wouldn’t like to put the cart before the horse so at the right time we will meet the press to make whatever decision we take public,” he noted.
The NSA boss also confirmed that Ghana will camp in Qatar for their final preparations ahead of the AFCON finals in Egypt.
The Black Stars are four-time African champions, but their last triumph was 37 years ago in the finals in Libya.
Meanwhile, former vice president of the Ghana Football Association, George Afriyie, has said that the Black Stars can win the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations without some of their “big names”.
Afriyie, who held his position in the GFA during Ghana’s 2015 AFCON campaign which saw them end as runners-up, says they failed to win the tournament in Equatorial Guinea four years ago due to bad luck.
“We came close three times in winning the trophy but we couldn’t. In 2010 and 2015, I was privileged to be at the tournament and the players did their best, but it was unfortunate we couldn’t bring the trophy home,” Afriyie told Tidesports source.
“In 2015, the players were determined to win the trophy and even in their training, you could see that the players were eyeing the ultimate, but luck was not on our side.
“For us to win this year’s tournament, the players must stay focused and work hard.
“Ivory Coast won the 2015 tournament without some of their big names and I think we can do same, but the players must work hard and improve their performance.”
Afriyie’s sentiments are echoed by Kenya FA boss, Nick Mwendwa who said ahead of the Harambee Stars’ last AFCON qualifier against Ghana that the likes of Asamoah Gyan and Andre Dede Ayew should be forgotten.
“The likes of Gyan, Ayew; to me I think the curtain is falling on their international carers, slowly by slowly,” Mwendwa told the media.
“So unless you have some fresh legs, we should be scared. If you are depending on them for AFCON, I’m sorry for you.”
Nigeria, Zambia Join WAFCON Train
Nine-time Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winners, Nigeria became the final side to book their place at the 2024 tournament as qualifiers culminated this week.
The Super Falcons came from behind to beat Cape Verde 2-1 away from home, with Rasheedat Ajibade’s injury-time winner clinching a 7-1 aggregate victory on Tuesday.
Barbra Banda was among Zambia’s scorers as the Copper Queens, who finished third at last year’s Nations Cup, thrashed Angola 6-0 at home to complete a 12-0 aggregate win.
However, two-time champions Equatorial Guinea will miss out on the 12-team finals following a 2-1 defeat away against DR Congo which saw the hosts progress 3-2 overall.
Botswana beat Kenya 1-0 to secure qualification for their second consecutive finals. while Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia all sealed their places in Morocco, who will host for the second time in a row.
The dates for the tournament, scheduled for next year, are yet to be announced.
Holders South Africa and Algeria secured their spots on Monday, with Banyana Banyana beating Burkina Faso 3-1 on aggregate and the North Africans sealing a 1-0 win in Burundi to progress 6-1 over the two legs.
Ghana will return to the finals for the first time since 2018 despite losing 1-0 away against Namibia, with the Black Queens going through 3-2 on aggregate.
Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia also failed to win their away ties, but progressed against Egypt, Togo and Congo respectively.
Mali won 3-0 away against Guinea to round off a 10-2 victory overall.
Olowu Targets WABU Crown At GOtv Boxing Night 30
Super welterweight boxer, Taiwo ‘Gentle Boy’ Olowu, on Wednesday , said his target is to claim the West African Boxing Union (WABU) super welterweight title at GOtv Boxing Night 30 on December 26.
The enterprising boxer, who is the national welterweight title holder, will square up to top Ghanaian boxer, Michael Ansah, at the event slated for the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
Speaking ahead of the fight, ‘Gentle Boy’ boasted that he would ensure the Ghanaian returned to his country empty-handed.
“I aim to add this West African Boxing Union title to my national title. As a national champion, I cannot allow a foreigner to come and take this belt away in front of my fans. This is a big opportunity for me to be a WABU champion. Ansah will leave Nigeria empty-handed,” he said.
The more experienced Ghanaian boxer has a record of 23 wins, 12 defeats, and three draws from 38 professional fights, while ‘Gentle Boy’ boasts 15 wins and one defeat from his 16 professional fights.
In another title fight, Sifon ‘Best’ Iwatt will battle Saheed Azeez for the national super flyweight title.
Also on the card for the night are five other national fights, including a female national cruiserweight challenge fight between national champion, Bolatito ‘Black Tito’ Oluwole and Blessing Abisoye.
Arabambi Ojo and Ibrahim ‘Golden Boy’ Opeyemi will slug it out in a national bantamweight challenge bout; Abdulafeez ‘Big Name’ Osoba will face Christopher Ucheji in a national super welterweight challenge fight, while Ayanfe Adeoye and Ahmed Ganiyu will duel in a national light welterweight category.
Nigeria Makes Final Team Of The Year Award
Nigeria made the final three shortlists for the 2023 Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Women’s National Team of the Year award.
CAF announced the final three shortlist on their X handle yesterday.
The other two countries are reigning Women’s Africa Cup of Nations champions South Africa and Morocco.
Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa featured at this year’s FIFA women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The trio all reached the round of 16 at the tournament, which was won by Spain.
The winner will be announced on Monday, December 11, in Marrakech, Morocco.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Super Falcons recently qualified for the 2024 WAFCON, hosted by Morocco.
A 7-1 aggregate win against Cape Verde ensured the Falcons will be making their 13th appearance at the tournament, which began in 1998 in Nigeria.
Politics3 days ago
2023 Election: Court Remands Alleged APC Member For Vote-Buying, Bribery
News3 days ago
Dream Of Making Rivers Medical Hub Achievable -Odu
Opinion3 days ago
Challenges Of Paediatric Surgery In Nigeria
Rivers3 days ago
Pray For Fubara, Stakeholder Urges Rivers People
Sports3 days ago
CAFCC: Our Inability To Convert Chances Denied Us Victory- Eguma
Niger Delta3 days ago
Bolt Driver, Female Passenger Abducted In Calabar
News3 days ago
Ex-NUPENG Secretary, Frank Kokori Dies At 80, Keyamo Mourns
Politics3 days ago
Alleged Move To Arrest Sylva: Leave Diri Alone, PDP Tells APC