Don’t be intimidated by World Cup group – Nana Brew-Butler tells Stars

FORMER President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Nana Sam Brew-Butler, has lauded the senior national team, Black Stars, on their qualification to the Qatar 2022 World Cup, goading them to demonstrate a strong sense of valour heading into the tournament.

“Don’t be intimidated by the draw but rather remain focused and united in your single pursuit for glory.”

Nana Brew-Butler, who was speaking to the Times Sports after Friday’s World Cup draw, was delighted with the composition of the team, which he described as “delectably young.”

The Stars on Tuesday eliminated Nigeria’s Super Eagles on the away-goal rule (1-1) in the capital Abuja, after a nail-biting barren result four days earlier at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.

That vintage victory landed Ghana in Group H – consisting of Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea – during Friday’s cagey draw in Qatar.

“For me, we have a manageable draw and the Stars must not be intimidated at all; just as they should not be overconfident heading into the campaign,” Nana Brew-Butler, Founder and Chairman of CenPower Generation Company Limited, told the Times Sports.

The revered football administrator and business tycoon said he had heard many people say the Stars must dash for revenge against Uruguay, to atone for the nation’s excruciating exit at the quarter-final stage of the 2010 World Cup. In that epic game, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez deliberately ‘volleyed’ out a last-minute goal-bound ball that would have given Ghana straight victory in the stipulated time.

Though a penalty was awarded to the Stars, the team’s talisman and top goal-monger Asamoah Gyan, blew the opportunity away, denying Ghana and Africa a historic ‘triumphant entry’ into the last-four.

“Painful as it may seem, I will call for total focus instead. We must be on the qui-vive and take things easy whilst at the same time being determined to qualify from the group.”

The ex-GFA capo (1993-97) whose era chalked a number of feats in world youth football (including the Ecuador ’95 Under-17 World Cup) applauded the leadership style of Ghana’s ‘sweat merchant’ Otto Addo – and his management team, urging them to “remain unshakably resilient in their quest to make Ghana proud in Qatar.”

“So far, I can say without any fear of contradiction that the Otto Addo-led technical team has been good. I have seen some sense of purpose, militancy and drive in the Stars as evidenced in both Kumasi and Abuja and we can only hope they get better,” Nana Brew-Butler asserted.

The Qatar 2022 tournament will be Ghana’s fourth since their debut in Germany 2006.

BY JOHN VIGAH

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