Kurt Okraku, President of the Ghana Football Association, has lauded the commitment and dedication of the 28 players who represented the country at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon despite failing to achieve their target.
The target was to win the trophy, but instead, the four-time champions failed to even progress from a group that had Morocco, who have been crowned champions once, Gabon, and debutants Comoros.
Black Stars lost to the 1976 champions in their opening group game, before a 1-1 draw with Gabon, who were without captain and Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and then they were humbled by debutants and 132nd-ranked Comoros.
The performance of the boys was absolutely disappointing, and as expected, there have been calls for some not to be included in the team going forward, but Okraku has jumped to their defence.
“Each one of the 28 players went into the preparatory period and this tournament with a clean heart, with the heart to support and fight for Ghana,” Okraku told TV3 on Thursday after Black Stars arrived at dawn.
“These players for the first time never spoke about money. I have not been part of the national team before, this is my first time but this is a group of dedicated players who never spoke about money. They never discussed money, they wanted glory for our dear country but the glory didn’t come. That’s why I keep saying that we need to support this group of players because they are very, very dedicated.
“They went through pain to make themselves available to the technical team for selection. It didn’t work, that’s why they share in the pain of Ghanaians. But that’s why we also have to support them to be able to bring their minds and body back together again to represent our country. They are the best we have,” he concluded.
Black Stars must now focus on the World Cup play-offs.
They will know their opponents on Saturday, January 22 when the draw is conducted.