Lepowura Jawula urged Stars to break AFCON jinx

Former capo of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Lepowura Alhaji MND Jawula, has urged the Black Stars to break the nation’s trophy jinx at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

The four-time champions are zealously seeking to end a 40-year-wait for continental glory, having clinched the last coronet as far back as 1982 when the biennial football festival was held in Tripoli, Libya.

“I strongly believe the team has what it takes to splinter the trophy hoodoo, and the boys must remain focused and resolute on that mission. It is a possible mission.

“We see lots of youthful exuberance and experience in the current team, and once they get it right, there would be no turning back,” he told the Times Sports yesterday.

Lepowura, however, asserted that “breaking the embarrassing trophy hoodoo and Stygian silence, may probably go beyond player quality and team performance.”

“The spirit of the nation must be behind the team. Every single Ghanaian must unite and support the team to victory,” he asserted.

According to Alhaji Jawula, who doubles as senior member of the CAF Inter Club Committee and Chairman of the Ghana Premier League Management Committee (GPLMC), Ghana football – and the Black Stars specifically, cannot thrive without the unflinching backing of Ghanaians.

“No matter what, the fans are simply indispensable.  That’s why we need to have everybody on board and roll on like one big family.”

The Black Stars, who find themselves in Group C together with Morocco, Comoros and Gabon, are making their 23rd appearance at the Nations Cup.

North African side Morocco will be Ghana’s first hurdle at the tournament as they cross swords on January 10 in Yaounde.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s Serbian coach, Milovan Rajevac, has submitted a provisional 40-man squad to the GFA ahead of the tournament, for scrutiny and endorsement.

Ahead of the campaign, the Stars will pitch tent this Wednesday in Doha, Qatar, where they engage in three pre-AFCON friendlies before slashing the squad to a final 23.

According to the GFA, Ghana is billed to play Algeria in its last preparatory game on January 5.

The Stars are expected to leave Doha for Yaoundé on Friday, January 7, for the nearly one-month tournament that roars from January 9 to February 6, 2022.

BY JOHN VIGAH

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