A former vice chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Nana Yaw Owusu, has assured the Black Stars of massive support to defeat the Walias of Ethiopia when they clash on Sunday in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.He said Kumasi had always been a favourable ground for the Stars and as such he was confident the fans would turn out in their numbers to give the team the needed support for victory.
“Naturally, Kumasi has been home to the Black Stars over the years, and since their arrival on Monday, football fans have been trooping to the stadium to watch their training and to encourage them.
“The atmosphere [at training] is very conducive, and I believe the same atmosphere will prevail on Sunday to galvanise the players to win massively,” Nana Yaw Owusu told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview yesterday.
Mr Owusu recalled how in 1986 he mooted the idea for the Stars to play some of their matches in Kumasi when he worked under then GFA chairman, Mr Sam Okyere.
“At that time, over six players of Kumasi Asante Kotoko featured regularly for the Black Stars, so I suggested to Mr Okyere that we should start playing in Kumasi to which he readily agreed.
"That explained why the Black Stars started playing in Kumasi which eventually won them the support of Kumasi fans,” he explained.
The Stars return to Kumasi for the first time since they played Uganda in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in October, 2014.
Since that 1-1 drawn game, the team’s matches have been rotated among the stadia in Tamale and Essipon, as the team seemed to have fallen out with fans in Kumasi in the aftermath of Ghana’s failed FIFA World Cup campaign in Brazil.