Black Challenge Off To Mexico

mexicoTHE Ghana Amputee football team [Black Challenge] has enplaned to Mexico for the 2014 World Amputee Football Championships which kick started yesterday.

The team made up of 14 players and 8 officials, left Ghana last Saturday night for the tournament in the Mexican city of Culiacan, Sinaloa.

They will join African champions Liberia and Angola to defend the flag of Africa at the Mundial.

Ghana who has been drawn in group F was scheduled to open their account this morning against England, before playing their second game against fellow African side Angola tomorrow, but organisers have rescheduled the game against England to Wednesday after a plea for the Ghana team.

Ghana, two time quarter finalist in the competition will be hoping to better their performance, by making it to the semi-finals for the first time.

The Black Challenge are locked in a tricky group F, alongside England and fellow African compatriots Angola.

Mr. Alex Tetteh, president of the Ghana Amputee Football Association (GAFA) said, the team will arrive in Mexico on Tuesday, and play Angola on the same day.

Asked if their late arrival would not affect the team’s performance, Mr. Tetteh said he hopes it does not, adding that the team had gone through even bigger challenges which he believes has strengthened the side for the better.

According to him, after going through the challenge of being taken to court over the ownership of the national team, the team was again faced with visa problems which was finally solved late last Friday night as if that was not enough the team was further faced with logistic problem in terms of kits for the tournament among others.

He revealed to Times Sports that a Ghanaian philanthropist Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, president of Youth Icon Ghana, donated sets of jerseys to the team, however they had to struggle to cough out $4000 to clear the items at the port, a situation he described as unfortunate for a side which was going to defend the flag of Ghana at a World Cup.

He noted that even in the face of these challenges the team was ready to die for the country at the championship but fell short of predicting his side’s exact placing at the tournament.

Head coach of the team Ali Jaara, promised his charges will be at their best to raise high the flag of Ghana at the competition, but stated that Ghanaians should not expect the cup from them.

“The team has been through serious challenges over the last few months, we should have been in Mexico by now to acclimatise with the weather there before the tournament begins, but we are still in Ghana while our opponents are in Mexico preparing and waiting for us to arrive.”

For Jaara, it is all about giving a very good account of themselves and Ghana at the tournament, Ghana placed 6th in the last edition held in Russia two years ago, after losing their final game to England by 2-0 and he believes they will do their best possible to maintain the same position this time round, looking at the challenges they have been faced with.

By Raymond Ackumey 

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