President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi has urged the players of the senior national team, the Black Stars to play with full commitment as Ghana begins the 2018 World Cup journey against the Cranes of Uganda tomorrow at the Tamale Sports Stadium.
Ghana is expected to make a fourth consecutive appearance at the World Cup in Russia in 2018 but only after topping a group consisting of Egypt, Uganda and Congo.
Addressing the media after the team’s first training session at the Accra Sports Stadium ahead of tomorrow’s game, the GFA President said another journey is in the offing and will want full commitment from the players to ensure that Ghana answers the 2018 World Cup roll call.
“We are embarking on a very important journey to Once again qualify to the next World Cup which is in Russia 2018 and our match against Uganda is the beginning of the journey for qualification. The match is very crucial and important for us.”
“We already have the experience of qualifying to the World Cup but this is another challenge altogether. It is a fresh challenge altogether and so the expectation of every Ghanaian is that on Friday we play and win against Uganda to set the tone for a qualification to the World Cup. Our players are here and as usual we expect them show commitment and ensure we win.”
He also pleaded with Ghanaians to throng the Tamale Sports Stadium to give the team their unflinching support.
“On this occasion let me also an appeal to Ghanaians to rally behind the team and offer them the needed support. We need the people to fill the stadium in Tamale on Friday afternoon so we can win against Uganda. I am appealing to all Ghanaians in and around Tamale to make it to the stadium so we can offer our unflinching support to the team in our drive to qualify for the next World Cup.”
Coach Avram Grant had a near full house for the team’s first training on Tuesday morning at the Accra Sports Stadium with the exception of Thomas Partey of Atletico Madrid, Adam Larsen Kwarasey of Norwegian champions , Stromgoset and Leicester City’s Jeffery Schlupp who are expected to join the team yesterday evening.
Meanwhile, former Ghana Coach, Ralf Zumdick has backed the Black Stars to beat Uganda in the FIFA World Cup qualifier.
A win over the Cranes will boost Ghana’s chances of making another appearance at the World Cup.
Ralf Zumdick who was in charge of the Black Stars in a 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Somalia urged the team to defeat Uganda tomorrow to have a solid start.
“Ghana is my home and I am always happy to be here, I think it is going to be a tough game because Uganda is a good side but I believe the Black Stars can win,” the former Asante Kotoko Coach told pressmen at the Accra Sports Stadium.
“Ghana has a strong team now and they have been playing together for some time. I have followed the team in their previous World Cups and I think they will win this game against Uganda.”
Zumdick also handled Ghana’s U23 team (Black Meteors) at the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja.
The German tactician also worked as a an assistant Coach for German Bundesliga sides Hamburger SV and Borussia Dortmund.