Otumfuo Charges Black Stars To Beat Uganda today

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has charged the Black Stars ahead of today’s AFCON 2015 qualifier against the Cranes of Uganda to replicate the commitment and sacrifices they give to their foreign clubs to ‘mother Ghana’ in order to win back the hearts of Ghanaians. He said players who were unwilling to sacrifice for Ghana did not merit the shirt of the national team and that it was time for the team to rediscover themselves. The Asantehene, who was admonishing the players during a courtesy call on him last Thursday, said it was time for the Stars to put the Brazil debacle behind them and look ahead to the big game. “I know your clubs are where you ply your full-time job, and that is what puts food on your table, but when it comes to national duties it calls for sacrifice,” the Asantehene said. The Black Stars are fired up to prove a point but are aware they would need to do a lot more to repeat the 1978 2-0 win over Uganda in a Nations Cup final at the Accra Sports Stadium. Uganda’s Serbian trainer, Milutin Sredojevic, considered one of the best brains in the coaching job, could be a party spoiler if the Stars fail to overcome the Brazil pain. Perhaps that could be the reason why officials of the National Sports Authority and other stakeholders were locked up in a meeting at the time of filing this report to consider opening the gates for free so the Baba Yara Stadium could be packed to create an inspiring atmosphere to help the Stars to wallop the visitors. That move, however, has been considered as a mere gimmick because officials fear attendance could be low. Beyond being angry with the team’s poor showing at the World Cup, it has been rumoured that Kumasi fans claim that each time they literally qualify the Black Stars by providing them massive support; they are neglected when it gets to the Mundial. Some cited the Brazil tournament as a typical case, alleging that only Accra fans were given the priority to travel to Brazil. But beyond the backstage drama, Coach Kwasi Appiah and his charges remain calm and focused as they are poised to atone for whatever happened in Brazil. Coach Appiah told a press conference last Tuesday that he was optimistic of a blistering start before playing Togo on Wednesday in the second Group E qualifier. The players themselves are aware the only practical apology they can offer Ghanaians is a big win today to enhance their chances of picking one of the tickets for the AFCON 2015 slated for Morocco next January.