President John Dramani Mahama has urged the Black Stars and all Ghanaians not to be deterred about the pitching of Ghana against Germany, Portugal and the United States of America in the 2014 World Cup group stages.
He said despite the pedigrees of Germany and Portugal, Ghana had the players to beat them and qualify to the next stage of the tournament.
"It is anybody's game. We have the materials, we have the players. They are also afraid of us. We are a force to reckon with, and so I believe that we will make it. I believe we should qualify," President Mahama told Ghanaian journalists in an interview in Paris, France on Saturday.
He was in France for the Élysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa.
Element of surprise
The World Cup draw for the various groups was conducted by FIFA last Friday, and many Ghanaians feel the Black Stars' qualification will be very tough because of the likes of Germany and Portugal.
The President said the draw took everybody by surprise, and indicated the CNN had described Ghana's group as the "Group of Death" because all the countries there were tough.
He said Germany and Portugal's pedigree in football was known, and stated that even though Ghana had dominated the USA in the past, they also played very good soccer.
"But I don't think we should be deterred. They are also as frightened of us as we are thinking we are of them," he said confidently.
President Mahama suggested that Ghana should work on strengthening the Defence.
"I think that what we should be working on how to strengthen our defence. Since Mensah (John) left and Vorsah has been injured, we are yet to really tighten our defence. So I think that our handlers should look at that," he said.
Besides, the President said the Black Stars needed an additional striker to support Asamoah Gyan.
"Ghana is lacking strikers. We produce too many midfielders, we need strikers or attacking midfielders. "And of course, Muntari and Essien all of them do the attacking but we need natural strikers too," he said.
President Mahama expressed the hope that between now and June, 2014, Ghana had the opportunity to work on creating a good team.
"One of the things about football is that it requires team work. How to get the players used to each other's style of play is one thing that we should work on.
"I think that we should play a lot of friendly matches, demonstration matches to toughen the boys ahead of the game," he said.
The President pledged that the government would give the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the technical team the needed support to take the Black Stars far in the World Cup.
"Government is going to support the FA and the technical team strongly," he said.
Source: Daily Graphic
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