A divisional chief of the Nungua Traditional Area, Nii Otu Kwei II, says the senior national team, Black Stars, have the quality to go far in the forthcoming World Cup in Qatar, if well-managed.
The 32-team draw in Doha, Qatar, on Friday saw Ghana flung into a hard-hitting Group H consisting of Portugal, Uruguay and South Africa.
However, he has cautioned the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the Black Stars and their management team, “not to be consumed by their burning desire to settling accounts with Uruguay at all cost.”
“I have heard some of the GFA people talk about exacting revenge or paying Uruguay in their own coin, and for me that’s dangerous.
“Certainly, we’re not going to Qatar because of Uruguay. We must go there and entertain the world with our magnificent football as well as qualify from the group,” Nii Otu Kwei, who is also the Abekunane Mantse and Head of the Odaiteitsewe Clan, asserted.
Uruguay were responsible for Ghana’s quarter-final exit at the 2010 World Cup staged in South Africa. In that tournament, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez scooped a last-gasp goal-bound ball from the net with the referee subsequently signalingfor a spot-kick that was squandered by top goal-poacher AsamoahGyan.
Ghana subsequently lost the ensuing shoot-out after the extra-time failed to produce a winner.
But Nii Otu Kwei insisted the Stars must look at the bigger picture of qualifying from a group he described as “interestingly cagey.”
“Care must be taken so that we don’t exert all our energy on beating Uruguay and slumping in the other games that are equally tough.
“We must take every game as a final and that’s the only way we can make it to the Round of 16,” he stressed.
Whilst lauding the Stars for edging out Nigeria to book a ticket to the World Cup, the traditional leader also advised the GFA to engage in friendlies at the slightest opportunity to enable the team have a much stronger cohesion.
Nii Abekunane is an avid follower of Ghana football, who in private life as Emmanuel OtuQuaye in October 2006, went to court to seek an explanation over some provisions in the GFA’s new laws on player registration.
Subsequently, the premier league was suspended for several weeks before an out-of-court settlement was reached.
BY JOHN VIGAH