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Sports News Wed, 15 Jul 2020

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CK Akonnor backed to shatter Ghana's AFCON trophy jinx

Former Ghana international Ali Jarrah believes Black Stars coach CK Akonnor has enough quality personnel at his disposal to end the nation's long wait for an Africa Cup of Nations title.

Ghana, who have four successes to their name, have been unable to add to their haul since last ruling the continent in 1982.

After a disappointing showing at the 2019 tournament in Egypt, the West Africans have replaced coach James Kwasi Appiah with Akonnor, who assumed duty in January.

"CK needs support. The materials are there and through support, we can break that jinx," Jarrah, an U17 World Cup winner, told Citi TV.

"CK Akonnor was appointed because he is capable so we should allow him to pick his best team, make his own decisions.

"The players must play for CK and not the country. They should see him as a former captain and I tell you we can win the Afcon."

Jarrah then shed light on the secret to Ghana's success at the 1991 U17 World Cup in Italy.

"We were an all-round team and we also started the preparations two years before the tournament, so we knew ourselves very well," the former goalkeeper said.

"In our final qualifying game against Morocco, the game was forfeited due to the Gulf War that happened then.

"When we got there, we were not used to the weather as it was cold, it was only Yaw Preko, Odartey Lamptey and the guys who were already playing in Europe who were comfortable with it. So when the game was cancelled due to the war, everyone jubilated.

"The group was fortunate because right after that, we went to Germany for camping. We were there for over three months. So we acclimatised, studied the weather, played a lot of games and were also high in confidence.

"Odartey Lamptey, Yaw Preko all had European experiences of what the tournament felt like. The likes of Mohammed Gargo, Daniel Addo, Willie Brown and Ernest Opoku were extraordinary players.

"The calibre of players we had gave us so much confidence.

Ghana beat Spain 1-0 in the U17 World Cup final, courtesy of an Emmanuel Duah strike.

Source: goal.com

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