President Akufo-Addo has assured the senior national football team, the Black Stars, of the unflinching support of government and the people of Ghana, ahead of their participation in the 2019 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
According to President Akufo-Addo “it sounds almost unbelievable when we think its 37 years since we last won it, especially since, from 2008 up to 2017 we hold the record of six consecutive semi-final appearances, which requires that we just need one more step to get over the barrier, and I think we are going to do it.”
The President made this known when the players, technical team and management committee members of the Black Stars called on him on Thursday, 30th May, 2019, at Jubilee House, to bid him farewell ahead of their final training tour in the United Arab Emirates and the 2019 AFCON.
Describing teamwork as “the heart of success in football”, President Akufo-Addo told the team that “you may have all the authority, but if the people working with you are not prepared to back you up with the effort and energy, you will not be able to succeed.”
He indicated further that “helping each other to win the trophy, that’s the teamwork that we are looking at, you are the Black Stars of Ghana. It doesn’t matter where you come from in this country, whether it is in Tamale or Jamestown or Kyebi, Nalerigu or wherever. It doesn’t matter, you are the Black Stars of Ghana.”
The President, thus, urged the playing body to write their own piece of history, and ensure that their names are written amongst the great names of Ghana’s footballing past, who brought honour and glory to the nation.
“I am determined to provide all the support government can give to sustain you, and give you the best opportunity to bring the cup home,” he stressed.
He continued, “I have no doubt, that you are among the best players on the continent and in the world. So, your slogan, the “Year of Return”, that’s the slogan of the year. This indeed is the year of return (of the AFCON trophy).”
The team was accompanied by the Minister and officials of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and members of the Normalisation Committee of the Ghana Football Association.