General News of 2013-12-07

Ghana will qualify from Group of death - President Mahama

President Mahama is backing the Black Stars to progress from their Group and make a second round appearance at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Ghana is paired in Group G alongside giants Germany, Portugal and the USA.

The Stars will open the competition with a game against the USA before they take on Germany and Portugal in the other Group matches.

The Stars hold a firm advantage over USA having beaten them twice in the 2006 and the 2010 competitions respectively.

The Group has been described by pundits as the Group of death. Speaking on the sidelines of the Elysee conference in Paris, President Mahama expressed optimism that the Black Stars will scale through unscathed.

“It took everybody by surprise and indeed I have been watching CNN and they described it as the Group of Death because all the countries there are tough,” President Mahama said.

“Germany and Portugal’s pedigree in football are known by all and even though we have dominated the USA in the past, they play very good soccer” Mr Mahama added

“I don’t think we should be deterred because they are also thinking about us just as we are doing and so it’s anybody’s game”

“We have the materials; we have the players to do the job”

President Mahama has also raised concern over the team’s defensive frailties and the lack of an additional striker aside captain Asamoah Gyan

“I think that what we should be working on is to strengthen our defense because since John Mensah left and Isaac Vorsah got injured we are yet to really tighten our defense and I think that the handlers should look at that”

“I also feel that we need an additional striker to complement the effort of Asamoah Gyan”

“Ghana is lacking in strikers”

“We produce too many midfielders; we need strikers or attacking midfielders who can score aside Gyan”

“Of course Essien, Muntari and co can do the attacking but we need natural strikers badly”

“I think between now and June we have the opportunity to work on creating a good team”

“One of the things about football is that it’s a team sport and so it requires team work.”

“How to get the players used to each other’s style of play is something that we should work on”

President Mahama has also assured Ghanaians that his government will support the Ghana Football Association in their bid to present a formidable side at the competition

“My Government is going to support the GFA and the technical team strongly"

“I think that we should play a lot of friendly matches and toughen the players ahead of the games

“I am particularly optimistic that Ghana will qualify from the Group” President Mahama concluded