Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku, President of the Ghana Football Association, GFA, has backed the Black Meteors to beat Algeria and seal qualification to the CAF U23 AFCON tournament.
The GFA boss has called on the team to put last Friday’s 1-1 draw in the away encounter behind them and secure a win in the second leg to see Ghana through to the tournament.
In a meeting with the players after their training session at the Baba Yara Stadium on Saturday evening, he lauded the team for putting in a brave fight in the 1st leg and expressed optimism that the team can even progress beyond the AFCON tournament and earn a place at the next summer Olympics in Paris.
“I came to express the gratitude of the Football Association and the country for the big fight you put in on Friday evening”. he said.
“We all took time to watch the match and from what we saw we have to be optimistic about our collective future”.
“We saw a team of warriors who wanted to make our country great regardless of what was thrown at us”.
“Friday’s game is gone and we are starting a new game on Tuesday at 0-0. Let’s forget the result and let’s get ourselves prepared for a new game against Algeria”.
“It’s a game that will take us to not only the AFCON in Morocco but will give us a chance to qualify to the Olympic games which we haven’t featured in since 2004”.
“2004 has been a long time, 19 years since Ghana was in the Olympics. It’s important that we keep our focus and work towards a slot to be in Paris next year” President Simeon-Okraku intimated.
He further urged the Black Meteors to emulate the resilience of the Black Stars when they fought hard to secure a late win over Angola at the Baba Yara Stadium last Thursday.
“Your performance has given the country lots of hope. The Black Stars put up a fight here and they never gave up till they made it. We must take inspiration from that”.
“I believe we have enough quality and the potential to do a good job. Let’s have the self believe and trust in ourselves and make a firm commitment that we will make it to the tournament”
“The GFA will continue to offer the support and as much as possible, we will ensure that you are competitive at all levels”.
“ We have absolute trust in this squad and we will be here on Tuesday to support the team”, he reiterated.
Team captain Daniel Afriyie Barnieh thanked the President for his visit and assured him of the team’s determination to book a place in the U23 AFCON.
“Being here alone is a big motivation to us. We are determined and focused to qualify to the U23 tournament”, he assured.
The return leg between the Black Meteors and their Algerian counterparts will kick off at 4pm on Tuesday, March 28, 2023.