Former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Lepowura Alhaji MND Jawula, is highly optimistic about the chances of the Black Stars at the just-begun African Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.
The Stars take on Morocco’s Atlas Lions in a Group C opener at 4pm this afternoon, with many Ghanaians expressing doubts over the team’s readiness to make any meaningful impact in the 28-day football festival.
“I know a good number of Ghanaians are not hopeful in the Stars to deliver in Cameroon. But I can tell you emphatically that the team is going to prove a point or two in the campaign.
“We lost to Algeria in the dress rehearsal, but the events of the day do not say it all. We had our teenage prodigy – Fatawu Issahaku, in charge of affairs in the absence of the Ayew brothers. I believe with their return to the fold in a blistering encounter against Morocco and Gabon, the men would stand out from the boys,” Lepowura Jawula told the Times Sports yesterday.
According to the CAF Inter-Clubs Committee member, FIFA ratings and other current results between teams, tend to influence the pundits who are carried away by forecasts that please their fancy.
“But as a Ghanaian I always stand by Ghana because I know Ghanaians play delightful and scintillating soccer. Our football, while pleasing to the eye, makes it difficult to underrate the Black Stars.”
He said with a strong verve of a solid Serbian coach in Milovan Rajevac – “who has done it with Ghana at the Mundial and who is no doubt determined to make a showpiece of Ghana with his assembled materials, Ghanaians only need to be positive.”
Lepowura Jawula stressed that with a blend of youth and talent, the Stars would prove a point or two in Cameroon, but was quick to express worry about the team’s Achilles Hill, which he pointed to its backline.
“I believe the coach is all-too aware of the situation and cannot sleep over it.”
However, he said the team’s midfield lies its strength and “will glitter in the tournament, Allah willing.”
The former GFA capo urged Ghanaians to rally behind the Stars, stick together and put national politics on the back burner.
BY JOHN VIGAH