Vice President buoys up Black Stars

Vice President John Dramani Mahama has offered the senior national team, the Black Stars a psychological elixir to buoy them into producing a stealth performance in their Group ‘D’ World Cup qualifying match against their Sudanese counterparts on Sunday. The Vice-President spent about an hour with the team and their handlers as well as officials of the Ghana Football Association to invigorate them and also to offer government’s support in their mission scheduled for the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium later on Sunday evening. Mr Mahama expressed his outmost satisfaction in the tenacity of the team to prevail at the match, but at the same time, he also urged them to be relentless and to show no “mercy” so as to seal Ghana’s quest for a second successive World Cup berth. “You are the pride of Ghana and we are confident that victory will be ours” but “show no mercy”, he encouraged the team. “If you can give five (goals), give five, if you can give seven (goals), give seven”, as he charged the Black Stars not to be altruistic on the field of play, but to be inspired by the solid performance of Cote d’Ivoire which scored five goals against Burkina Faso on Saturday. Vice President Mahama said his wariness however has to do with the Ghanaian attitude of showing empathy even in competitive sports game when a show of mercy was not needed. Mr Mahama said such acts of altruism and the “impulse to relax” should not be a part of today’s game. “Lets us treat the Sudan game as if it is our first” because the “most dangerous opponent is the one you have beaten”. In a relaxed and genial atmosphere at the Congress Hotel where the upbeat team mates were housed in Accra, Vice President Mahama assured them that government will spur no effort in supporting them to reach the World Cup to be hosted by South Africa, the first African country to do so next year. Mr Mahama who was clearly thinking beyond Sunday’s match predicted that Ghana can become a world champion if they put their acts together. “It is not impossible to become champions of the world”, said an optimistic Vice President. Black Stars Captain, Stephen Appiah was equally optimistic when he promised the expectant nation that the team has “the strength, confidence, and power to deliver”. “Victory is going to be ours and we will celebrate together”, he said to sustained applause and jocularly interjections from his team mates. Mr Kwesi Nyantekyi, President of the Ghana Football Association described Sunday’s match as a “special” one while Mr Rashid Pelpuo, acting Minister of Youth and Sports on the other hand denoted the match as a “dream” come true for Ghana. Both officials were unanimous in their quest to make the Black Stars build on their recent successes to book a place to the World Cup in South Africa next year. Ghana presently has nine points from three games after winning their earlier matches against Benin, Mali and Sudan and Sunday’s match is seen as the icing on the cake in her march towards the World Cup in South Africa.