South Africa’s 2010 World Cup Organising Committee has congratulated Ghana on being the first African country to qualify for the tournament next year.
Organisers of next year's global finals were overjoyed with the Black Stars' feat of booking the first African ticket to the tournament to be held on the continent for the first time. Ghana is the first sub-saharan African country to gain independence in 1957 and the chairman of the 2010 World Cup Organising Committee Danny Jordaan says the Black Stars’ achievement is highly symbolic.
“I am overjoyed that one of the continent’s greatest teams will be playing in Africa’s first FIFA World Cup,” Jordaan said in a statement sent to Ghanasoccernet.com. It is fitting that the first country to gain independence on the African continent is also the first country from Africa to qualify for the first World Cup on African soil.
“A long standing symbol of hope on the continent, Ghana is sure to win many fans in South Africa.
“We hope that they will go far in the tournament and do Africa proud.” Ghana qualified after beating Sudan 2-0 in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier, topping Group D.
The top team from each of the five African qualifying groups will secure a place in the finals. Ghana has always provided South Africa’s bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup with invaluable support in the form of football legend and event ambassador Abedi Pele.
Pele joined other great African stars such as George Weah, Roger Milla, Kalusha Bwalya and Philemon Masinga as 2010 bid ambassadors. During the bid Pele was quoted as saying that a FIFA World Cup in South Africa would bring the "greatest benefit to African football".
The Black Stars are Africa’s second most successful team of all time and have won the African Cup of Nations four times in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982. This is the second time the Ghanaians have qualified for a FIFA World Cup – the first being in 2006 where they made it through to the second round.
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