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Ghana sports minister loses hope in World Cup qualification



Ghana’s Minister for Youth and Sports,  Mustapha Ussif has admitted things might not go Ghana’s way when they face Nigeria in the World Cup play-off and has therefore called on Ghanaians to accept the outcome of the game.

The first leg of the potentially crunchy encounters are barely 24 hours away. Ghanaian publications revealed that the minister has already prepared the minds of citizens to accept the looming defeat.

Although he accepted things might not go Ghana’s way on Friday, he has complete confidence in the Black Stars to pick up a win against Nigeria.

“There are three outcomes when it comes to football. Our expectation is to win and we pray to God that we do so. It’s possible that we might go into the game and not deliver so we should be ready to accept that. I urge the players to lift the flag of Ghana high,” he said.

“On the 25th, the players are not only playing for themselves, but they are also playing for the 30 million Ghanaians. Everybody will be watching them. Whatever happens on the pitch will have an impact on every home in Ghana that day. I have no doubt, I have total confidence in the team to deliver that day.

The Minister also spoke about the importance of playing the game at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium after the game was moved there from the Cape Coast Stadium.


He believes the atmosphere in Kumasi and the size of the stadium will ensure the Black Stars have the best-possible support against Nigeria.

“Most of the World Cup qualification matches were played at Cape Coast. This playoff is huge, especially playing against Nigeria. In every aspect of our lives, we compete against Nigeria. A lot of Ghanaians want to come to the stadium and support the Black Stars,” he said.

“With Kumasi being the centre of our country, the location is a good thing because people coming all the way from Tamale will not have to travel too far. Kumasi is the heartbeat of sports.

“If you are talking of sports or football, majority of Ghanaian supporters are based in Kumasi. The stadium is very big and that is also good to get the numbers into the stadium to support our national team so that the team can lift the flag of our country high and I’m very confident of that.”



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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