A former Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has advised players of the Black Stars to be focused on executing a successful agenda at the Qatar FIFA World Cup and not be distracted by elements like money and women.
Specifically, he advised the players to leave their wives and girlfriends behind to focus on the championship which is a little over a month away.
The month-long biggest football festival in the World is billed to commence on November 18.
In an interview with the GNA Sports, Mr Ankrah said, it was important that the players concentrate on the tournament to excel and bring glory to the country.
“The team must be focused and dedicated for the World Cup period. This is a tournament for just a few weeks. The players should leave their wives and girlfriends for those few weeks and focus on bringing glory to Ghana and themselves,” he said.
Mr. Ankrah, who was the sector minister when Ghana recorded her poorest showing at the World Cup – the 2014 edition in Brazil.
Under the technical guidance of Coach Kwesi Appiah, the Black Stars earned negative attention the world over with a total breakdown of discipline and unnecessary squabbles over monies to be paid as appearance fees and other allowances.
The height of the team’s troubles was the dismissal of two senior players, Sulley Ali Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng. On their return a Commission of Enquiry (Justice Dzamefe Commission) was constituted to delve into issues that collapsed Ghana’s campaign.
Armed with this experience, Mr Ankrah noted that it was a privilege for a footballer to represent the country, hence they (players) should appreciate that opportunity and be patriotic.
“It is a privilege to don the national colours. The players should not think they are doing us a favour by representing Ghana,” he said.
He urged the technical team to make use of technology to analyse Ghana’s group opponent and employ strategies to ensure victory.
Ghana qualified to the 2022 Qatar World Cup at the expense of archrivals Nigeria, and paired with Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.
This would be Ghana’s fourth World Cup appearance with her best performance at the quarterfinal stage at the 2010 showpiece in South Africa. -GNA