Deputy Captain of the Black Stars Andre Ayew has backed the team to pick up maximum points against the Cranes of Uganda in the opening game of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers on Friday.
The tenacious attacker has been out with injury since West Ham United’s opening day defeat to Chelsea and has missed vital games for club and country.
These days, the build-up to any Black Stars game goes beyond the football. It is mostly surrounded by issues with the Ghana Football Association and the Ministry of Youth and Sports but Andre has urged the players to focus on the football and get Ghana the desired result to kick-start a long campaign to Russia in 2018.
“I speak to them nearly everyday so I know everything that is going on, especially how they are coping in camp. They went to Tamale this morning and if it wasn’t for this event I would have been there with them,” Andre Ayew said at Ayew at a gathering of West Ham officials in Accra by Principal Partner of the club Betway.
There is no love lost between the Black Stars and fans. The love for the team seems to have waned, fans no longer throng the stadium to see the Black Stars play due to the financial issues and the question of whether these crop of players are patriotic enough to wear the national shirt.
Fan attendance at Black Stars games played subsequently in Accra and Kumasi has not been the best and perhaps the reason why it is in Tamale this time round.
The Northern Region capital has been a welcoming ground for the Black Stars mainly because some players are indigenes of the city thus they attract a high level of spectatorship.
As a man from the region himself it delights Ayew that the game will be played there.
“I know it will be a very difficult game but we are playing at home in Tamale and hopefully we are going to have a full stadium with the fans backing us,” he said.
“We have really missed that in the past few games so we know that the stadium is going to be on fire on Friday. We are very happy and we hope that we can win the first World Cup qualifier because we want to go to Russia.”
The Black Stars play the Cranes of Uganda on Friday and will be hoping to pick up a first win to boost their chances of qualifying for Russia 2018.
By Yaw Ofosu Larbi|3news.com|Ghana