Ten years after triggering a massive football festival with the hosting of the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana will play host again to the Nations Cup, this time the women’s edition next month.
Eight teams are due to gather in Accra and Cape Coast over a two week period to determine the Queens of African football with Ghana’s Black Queens determined to do what the men couldn’t do ten years ago.
The Black Queens will face Algeria in the opening game of the 2018 edition before playing Mali and Cameroon in their group A fixtures.
For weeks, they have been getting ready in Prampram, shutting out the uncertainty over Ghana’s status as hosts. The Queens have fallen off the perking order in African football. For long the bridesmaid in Africa women’s football behind Nigeria, Ghana has watched on as the likes of South Africa and Cameroon have caught on and in some cases overtaken them.
Ghana coach Bashir Hayford is fully aware of that history but as he watches the ladies chase balls and go through their paces, he is convinced they will face the task without pressure.
‘’I have not been under pressure before, the reason being that I know what I can do and what am doing,” he told TV3 Sports Nana Akua Amankwaa.
”I am a train teacher maybe economics am teaching at Asima Junior High and then you take me to Achimota then you say how pressure, that is what I have learnt and so when I go to Achimota the way I will teach same thing if i go to Mfanstipim I will teach so there shouldn’t be any pressure on me the pressure is the atmosphere around and what the people expect and so the pressure will take care of itself,”
”But me as a coach I don’t have any pressure. And the because it is first time too Ghana is preparing very well to win the tournament’’.
Janet Ayeiyam is one of those Hayford will rely on for goals and the former Ashanti Gold SC gaffer is in no doubt his charges can step up to it.
‘’Is a privilege that we are in the team and we are playing in Ghana, we will sure that the other time thing that prevented them from going into the final this time we are going to make it up. As we are hosting, we are not just going to competition just to take part no, we are going to win the Cup to qualify for the world Cup,”. he concluded.
Story by Nana Akua Amankwaa