Russian test for Ghana

Agyeman Badu in action for the Stars against RwandaGHANA’s senior national team, Black Stars, will take on their Russian counterparts in a special friendly international at the Lokomotiv Sports Stadium in the capital Moscow this evening.

The potentially absorbing tie, slated for 17:00hrs local time, is expected to serve a good purpose for the two teams who are meeting for the first time at this level.

Aside trying to erect a formidable unit ahead of the 2018 World Cup they will be hosting, the Russians also want to qualm the raging fears about racism in the country.

Russia has come under a barrage of criticism as regards racism in its domestic football.

Heartily, Russia’s football authorities have said they are doing everything to eradicate racism, but Yuri Boychenko – chief of the anti-discrimination section of the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights said more needs to be done.

“It is a behavioral problem. It is a societal problem. In Russia, indeed we have also noticed there is no understanding of what racism means”, Boychenko told reporters at FIFA’s Sustainability Programme, recently.

For the Stars, poking a famous result in Moscow could be high on the agenda as they continue the fight to win back disenchanted Ghanaian fans, following a spiritless 1-1 drawn game against Rwanda in an African Nations Cup qualifier.

Though the Agyemang Badu-led Ghana side had already qualified for the Gabon 2017 championship, a heavy scoreline against the Rwandese may have been graciously welcomed.

Nevertheless, the Stars chief trainer, Avram Grant, is looking forward to a great evening and has promised to put together a sturdy team, good enough to give the Russians a stiff opposition.

“Russia is a different game, they are very strong team and have prepared themselves for the World Cup and I hope we beat them and play against them in the World Cup,” the Israeli asserted.

Czech Republic, Slovakia and Wales have all beaten Russia in recent friendlies at home, the worst being a 3-0 hammering by the Welsh on June 20, a little over two months ago.

This is why the Russians would want to come hard at a Stars’ team that is also preparing for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

By John Vigah



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