Ghana won’t let bribery claims affect team
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah said he would not let negativity harm his camp ahead of their quarterfinal clash against Cape Verde tomorrow.
This follows claims of bribery circulating in the Ghanian media – that the Black Stars had attempted to buy the result during their last match against Niger.
Speaking to the media at a pre-match conference today, Appiah said: “Those stories are not true and the FA (Football Association) has responded to it. My boys are focused on the game against Cape Verde.”
Instead, Appiah conceded he was worried about a side that had nothing to lose in the Africa Cup of Nations, hosted by South Africa.
The match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium tomorrow afternoon will be the second time that the two side have met since their last outing in a friendly match in November.
Said Appiah: “A lot has changed when I look back back at the friendly (played in Portugal).
Only about four or five of them are here and even their tactics are not the same as during our friendly game. It’s not the same team you can say ‘I’ll walk all over them’”.
Appiah reiterated that he would rather play Ivory Coast than Cape Verde as “I know every single player in the Ivory Coast team”.
“The pressure will automatically be on them; the same way as Ghana will be against Cape Verde.”
The Black Stars defender John Pantsil added: “They are now getting used to the competition and they fight for each other and they are dangerous in the way they take their set pieces. Afcon is a whole different ball game and we stand a good chance.”
Appiah hinted that they have watched the Blue Sharks videos from their three matches in the competition.
Said Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes: “We take this tournament very seriously. What we know is that we are ready for any team in this tournament.”
Antunes said his players were not just physically, but mentally fit.
The 46-year-old air traffic controller also revealed that he had already received congratulatory messages from his mentor, Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho.
» Kick-off is at 5pm.
» Full statement: Ghana FA
Our attention has been drawn to a report carried by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) and Radio Gold claiming that Ghana attempted to bribe a Nigerian player before Monday’s Africa Cup of Nations clash against Niger.
The report was filed by GNA and Radio Gold who are represented in Port Elizabeth by Veronica Commey and Nana Darkwa respectively.
We wish to state emphatically that the report is false, irresponsible, reckless and mischievous.
The Ghana Football Association (GFA) would like to state emphatically that there is no iota of truth in the report and it is the reckless imagination of the authors of the report.
GFA is extremely disturbed that at a time that the country is solidly behind the Black Stars to bring the Africa Cup of Nations trophy home, a tiny minority of journalists would engage in such nation-wrecking activity.
In as much as the GFA will strive to create opportunities to enhance the work of the media during this tournament, we will not condone acts meant to tarnish the image of the country.
We want to assure the people of Ghana that the team is focused on the campaign at the Africa Cup of Nations and with God on our side we will secure victory against Cape Verde on Saturday.” – Ghanafa.org