The Sports Minister, Mustapha Ussif, expects the Black Stars to pick up a positive result in the first leg of their 2022 World Cup playoff tie against Nigeria on Friday.
Mr Ussif says that although he accepts that things might not go Ghana’s way on Friday, he has complete confidence in the Black Stars to pick up a win against Nigeria.
“There are three outcomes when it comes to football. Our expectation is to win and we pray to God that we do so. It’s possible that we might go into the game and not deliver so we should be ready to accept that. I urge the players to lift the flag of Ghana high,” he said.
“On the 25th, the players are not only playing for themselves, but they are also playing for the 30 million Ghanaians. Everybody will be watching them. Whatever happens on the pitch will have an impact on every home in Ghana that day. I have no doubt, I have total confidence in the team to deliver that day.”
The Minister also spoke about the importance of playing the game at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium after the game was moved there from the Cape Coast Stadium.
He believes the atmosphere in Kumasi and the size of the stadium will ensure the Black Stars have the best-possible support against Nigeria.
“Most of the World Cup qualification matches were played at Cape Coast. This playoff is huge, especially playing against Nigeria. In every aspect of our lives, we compete against Nigeria. A lot of Ghanaians want to come to the stadium and support the Black Stars,” he said.
“With Kumasi being the centre of our country, the location is a good thing because people coming all the way from Tamale will not have to travel too far. Kumasi is the heartbeat of sports. If you are talking of sports or football, majority of Ghanaian supporters are based in Kumasi. The stadium is very big and that is also good to get the numbers into the stadium to support our national team so that the team can lift the flag of our country high and I’m very confident of that.”