World Cup 2022: Ghana fans seek divine inspiration before World Cup

What do you do when your national team is struggling for form ahead of the World Cup?

 

Aside from calling up a host of new players, switching formation or changing coaches, you can always look for divine intervention.

 

The last option is what the government of Ghana and the country’s football association (GFA) have decided to do just one month before the tournament in Qatar gets under way.

 

Two national days of prayer and fasting have been announced in the country, with the Muslim population participating on Friday before Christians follow suit on Sunday.

 

Whether it can help the Black Stars squad remains to be seen, with Ghana heading to the finals as the lowest-ranked of the 32 teams at 61st in the world.

 

The four-time African champions will face Portugal and South Korea in Group H before a grudge match against Uruguay, who knocked Ghana out in the quarter-finals in 2010.

 

But, after missing out on a spot at Russia 2018, expectations of an emphatic return to the global stage have been overshadowed by pessimism about coach Otto Addo and his players.

 

The former international took charge after a humiliating group-stage exit from the Africa Cup of Nations in January led to the departure of former boss Milovan Rajevac.

 

Addo helped inspire the side to edge past fierce West African rivals Nigeria on away goals in March to qualify for their fourth World Cup, but since then the Black Stars have endured a faltering run.

 

The government and GFA are now leaning towards a popular African praying phrase which says: “What God cannot do does not exist.”

 

Two wins in 12 matches in 2022

In June Ghana opened up their qualification campaign for the 2023 Nations Cup with a 3-0 home win over Madagascar before a 1-1 draw away to Central African Republic.

 

An injury-depleted and Covid-hit squad then put in a poor showing at the invitational Kirin Cup tournament in Japan, losing 4-1 to the hosts, before a 0-0 draw with Chile.

 

A September to forget followed.

After suffering a 3-0 friendly defeat by Brazil in France, Ghana made heavy work of beating Nicaragua, who are 81 places below them in the Fifa rankings, 1-0 in Spain.

 

The team’s struggles and lethargic performances have led to doubts over the ability of Ghana on the pitch, and – having already changed coach and turned to the diaspora for new players this year – the country has now turned to God.

 

Seventy-one percent of Ghana’s 32 million people are Christian, with 17% Muslim and a small segment adhering to traditional indigenous religions.

 

Those statistics understate the fervency of everyday faith – with many attending church on weeknights, all-night prayer vigils common and billboards advertising Christian meetings lining the streets.

 

“Ghana is a Christian country and our government have set a day aside to pray and do fasting for the national team,” Owusu Boakye Amando, a fan of Aston Villa and Ghana, told BBC Sport Africa.

 

“The Muslims are starting and Christians will also pray for the national team. This is important so that we can wish them well when they go to Qatar.”

 

Some Ghanaians have questioned Addo’s lack of game management and commitment to the West African nation on social media.

 

The 47-year-old is combining his Ghana duties with a coaching role at German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, where he spent six years as a player.

 

There is only a small window left to resolve on the pitch as Ghana have one more friendly before the tournament, against Switzerland in Abu Dhabi, on 17 November.

 

A week later comes their opening group match, against Portugal, when the Blacks Stars may need more than prayers to get a result.

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana

2022 World Cup: Our bid is to create right conditions for team to excel in Qatar – President Akufo Addo

President of the Republic of Ghana H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo has assured his government will do its maximum best to provide the basic needs for the Black Stars to make their participation in World Cup Qatar 2022 finals a success.

 

His Excellency Nana Akufo Addo was speaking on Thursday, during a meeting with President Simeon-Okraku and his Executive Council at the Jubilee House in Accra.

 

The meeting was jointly arranged by Youth and Sports Minister Mustapha Ussif (Hon.) and the Ghana Football Association to present the new Black stars strips to President Akufo Addo as part of the build-up to the 2022 World Cup.

 

“All of us know how football is important to us, there is nobody in this country who doesn’t understand the importance of football. We grew up with football deep in our hearts and fanatical about it so I hope that the preparations that you outlined here are good enough to give our players the best possible opportunity to perform well,” President Nana Akufo Addo said.

 

“I remember when you came here after our qualification, I was saying that I hope that in the end you will keep the technical team intact and you did exactly that and I think it’s the best possible basis to go.

 

“But having chosen the technical team, I will also implore you, to leave them to do their work. I think the people who run football clubs know what is required of a good coach. He takes responsibility, if he doesn’t you know what to do with him.

 

“What is always a problem is minithe ster saying, this person should play, and saying president says I should tell you x player has to play. No, we don’t want any of that.

 

“We have confidence in the team you have chosen. I think we have got a very good team … Otto Addo, Chris Hughton, George Boateng, Didi Dramani and Richard Kingston. We have a very good set of people to guide our players, we should leave it to them and their professiojudgmentment to decide the best possible combinations for us and we will do our best to support them in everything that we can.

 

“We will do our best to support are going to do our best to make sure that players are put in the best possible position to go ahead to carry the flag of Ghana.

 

“Qatar is an unusual choice, no World Cup has ever been played in that part of the World before so it’s a breakthrough for them and my understanding is that they have gone out of their way to put together a very good tournament, the facilities and everything I hear are first class so we have no grounds to complain. As a nation, all we need to do is to give the team maximum support for them to give their best.

 

“Our bid is to create the best conditions for the team to excel at the World Cup,” H.E Nana Addo added.

 

Ghana will play Switzerland in an International friendly on November 17, before traveling to Qatar for the World Cup.

The Black Stars are paired in Group H alongside Portugal, South Korea, and Uruguay. Ghana will begin the campaign against Portugal on Thursday, November 24 before taking on South Korea and Uruguay in the other Group matches.

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Thank you – President Akufo Addo praises GFA for convincing European born players to join Black Stars

President of the Republic, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo has commended the Kurt Okraku-led administration for working hard to secure the services of exceptionally talented Ghanaians born in the diaspora to switch nationality to play for the Black Stars.

 

His comments follow the recent nationality switch of Inaki Williams, Tariq Lamptey, Stephan Ambrosius, and Ransford Yeboah. Before that, Alexander Djiku, Tariq Fosu, Joseph Wollacott, Denis Odoi, Elisha Owusu, Daniel Kofi Kyereh, and Antoine Semenyo, among others have within the last couple of years switched nationality to play for Ghana.

“I have a lot of confidence in the players that are being selected and I am happy that many of our Ghanaian players in the diaspora under your leadership are being brought in to play for the Black Stars,” President Nana Akufo Addo said in a meeting with the GFA Executive Council on Thursday.

 

“I think you have done very well to go out there to convince them to come and play for us and it couldn’t have been any better so as Politicians, football administrators, let’s help them to settle and enjoy their trade.

 

“Our bid is to create the right conditions for them to excel, that is what we have to do because undoubtedly Ghana football is among the best in the World,” he added.

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana

NDC Polls: ‘Ghana is cursed under ‘cancerous’ Akufo-Addo; Mahama please come save us’ — Aspirant

An opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Deputy Communications Officer aspirant in the Jomoro Constituency of the Western Region, Joel Samuel Ndede known as Hon. Arise, has called on former President John Dramani Mahama to contest the NDC’s presidential primaries in 2023 to recapture power and save Ghana’s economy from collapsing.

 

He made the call at Elubo on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 where he engaged some journalists in the area to outline his programmes as a Deputy Communications Officer aspirant.

 

According to him, Ghana is cursed under President Akufo-Addo and needs serious deliverance.

 

He stated that President Akufo-Addo has brought untold hardships on Ghanaians.

 

“My brothers and sisters let me tell you, President Akufo-Addo has brought a lot of sufferings on us. Ghana is cursed under Akufo-Addo. Everything is increasing astronomically, I can’t understand.

 

“I still don’t understand, who is actually in charge of this country. You will go to the market to buy food items today, the next day you will go and it has increased. Our local currency cannot compete with foreign currencies. What a country. Is President Akufo-Addo in Ghana? Is he feeling the suffering?” he quizzes.

 

He charged Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to arrest the dollar immediately as promised to stabilize the economy.

 

“This is the time Vice President Bawumia is expected to talk and tell us how is the economy being managed. I’m calling on him to arrest the dollar immediately to stabilize the economy because the hardship is too much or Bawumia not the boss of the Akufo-Addo’s Economic Management Team”, he stated.

 

Joel Samuel Ndede took the opportunity to appeal to former President John Mahama to be bold and announce to the whole country that he would contest as NDC’s Flagbearer.

 

“Recently former President John Mahama granted an interview on a foreign media and couldn’t say that he will lead the NDC to the 2024 general elections but I want to use your platform to appeal to him to come and contest. Mr. John Mahama should come and save us, we are suffering too much. If NPP and Bawumia use lies and propaganda to retain power in 2024, we will all die. Mr John Mahama we are begging come back to rescue this country from collapsing”, he said.

 

He, therefore, called on the rank and file of the opposition NDC to support Mr. Mahama to lead the party into the 2024 elections.

 

He, therefore, seized the opportunity to appeal to the NDC delegates in Jomoro to vote massively for him to become their Deputy Communications Officer to support the grassroots.

 

“We cannot overemphasize the fact that grassroot communication is essential for grassroot mobilization for power. Going into 2024 elections, we need a grassroot tailored communication. A communication strategy that will seek to cure complacency among comrades and curb voting apathy among general voters”, he said.

 

He promised, “I, Arise, put myself forth, as the restless voice that sounds this alarm in the corridors, front doors, the streets and the airwaves of our constituency. To complement our general communication officer and other Constituency executives”.

 

He appealed, “Yes we must overthrow, through the ballot, the cancerous NPP regime. Voting Joel Samuel Ndede (ARISE) as your next deputy communications officer for Jomoro constituency is one of the steps to that end. I humbly count on your support, counsel and prayers”.

 

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana

NDC polls: Show the world we’re the true bastion of democracy; be decorous and restraint — Ofosu Ampofo to aspirants

The National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has sent well wishes to Constituency Executives aspirants across the country in the upcoming Constituency Elections on October 22 and 23.

 

Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo urges them to conduct themselves in a manner that will yet again cement the credentials of the party as the foremost democratic political party.

 

He further admonish aspirants to be decorus and restraint.

 

In a statement issued by the Office of the National Chairman of the NDC, Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo urged all aspiring candidates to stay true and committed to the tenets of the NDC.

 

“The time has come once again for our great party to show the world that we are the true bastion of democracy. As we go into our Constituency Elections this weekend, I encourage all aspirants to conduct themselves with decorum and restraint as we further cement our credentials as the world’s foremost democratic political party,” he stated.

He further asked that all aspirants keep their eyes on the ultimate goal of annexing power and rescuing the country from the doldrum it has been plunged into over the past six years.

 

“Let me take this opportunity to remind us all that this elections is a means to the ultimate end of a resounding victory come December 2024. There is a higher purpose and calling that we must respond to. Across the country, there is a genuine cry for the return of the NDC to rescue the country and we must not faint neither must we lose sight of this. We must heed to this call and work hard to meet the expectations of Ghanaians,” Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo intimated.

The NDC Constituency Elections will be held across the country to elect party executives at the constituency level ahead of the National Executives Elections, which come off in December later this year.

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana

Akufo-Addo must address the nation now, the economic crisis more or less like war against the people — Amaliba

Director of Legal Affairs of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Abraham Amaliba has said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must address the nation on the economic challenges facing Ghanaians.

 

Just as during the Covid period when the President addressed the nation, he said Mr Akufo-Addo must do same at the moment as Ghanaians are saddled with rising cost of living.

 

Speaking on the New Day show with Johnnie Hughes on TV3 Friday October 21, he said “we are in a very difficult situation, we have never seen this before.

 

“What I expect the government to do is for the president to address the nation because this is more or less like war against the people of this country.

 

“When there was Covid he was always in our rooms when we didn’t need him, this is the time for him to address Ghanaians.”

 

The government has admitted that times are hard for Ghanaians but measures are being taken to to ameliorate their plight.

 

The government is seeking support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it deal with the situation.

 

An IMF team, led by Stéphane Roudet, met during October 11-19 in Washington, DC with Finance Minister Ofori-Atta, Bank of Ghana Governor Addison and their teams, to continue discussions on a possible IMF-supported program.

 

At the conclusion of the meetings, Mr. Roudet issued the following statement: “The Ghanaian delegation and IMF staff had very fruitful discussions on the authorities’ post-COVID program for economic growth and associated policies and reforms that could be supported by a new IMF arrangement.

 

“We made good progress in identifying specific policies that would restore macroeconomic stability and lay the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth. The IMF team and the Ghanaian authorities remain fully committed to reaching agreement on a framework and policies for an IMF-supported program as soon as feasible. Discussions will continue in the weeks ahead, with a follow-up mission to take place expeditiously.”

 

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was hopeful that the IMF will approve the programme by end of the year.

 

He told TV3’s Paa Kwesi Asare in an earlier interview on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in Washington DC that the Fund is motivated to close the deal by end of the year.

 

“…To get us close to a staff level agreement as possible so that we can incorporate all of our decisions also into the budget so there will be no reversal and therefore, by year ending, hopefully, the board will approve.

 

“Do you see that happening?” he asked.

 

In response, he said “We have to make it happen, the Fund is very motivated, we are 24/7, we will stay a few more days after this annual meetings and ensure we make solid progress going forward.

 

“I am excited about where we are, which therefore means that if we complete it by end of the year, disbursements from the fund which replace what we would have done going to the international market. Clearly, in my mind there is no need for speculation as to where the currency should be.”

 

Earlier, Mr Ofori-Atta assured at a press briefing on Wednesday, September 28 the fast-track negotiations with the IMF to ensure key aspects of the programme are reflected in the 2023 budget statement.

 

“In line with the President’s dialogue with the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, negotiations will be fast-tracked to ensure that key aspects of the programme are reflected in the 2023 Annual Budget Statement in November 2022,” he said.

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana

NDC elects constituency officers today

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) will today and tomorrow elect officers to steer the affairs of the Party at the constituency level for the next four years.

 

All is set for the elections, except in 24 constituencies in the Eastern, Central, Volta, Upper West, and Greater Accra regions where the elections have been put on hold.

 

A statement signed by Mr Daniel Amartey Mensah, Deputy Director of Elections, NDC, ahead of the elections, said the decision was taken due to “disputes over delegates’ list for those constituencies and/or the exclusion from ballot papers of candidates who have been qualified through the appeal process.”

 

The affected constituencies in the Eastern Region are: Mpraeso, Atiwa East, Atiwa West, Achiase, Nkwawkwaw, Upper West Akim , Afram Plains North, Akim Swedru , Akropong , Fanteakwa South, and Asene Manso Akroso constituencies.

 

In the Greater Accra Region, elections in the Shai Osudoku, Bortianor Ngleshie , Ningo Prampram, Ledzekuku, Ayawaso North , Amasaman , and Adentan constituencies have been put on hold.

 

The elections will also not be held in the Hohoe, and Sogakope constituencies in the Volta Region while those in the Prestea Huni Valley and the Shama constituencies in the Western Region have also been put on hold.

 

The Jirapa West Constituency is the only constituency affected in the Upper West Region.

 

The Party’s Functional Executive Committee earlier directed that all elections should be held in one day – either Saturday October 22, 2022 or Sunday, October 23, 2022.

 

A total of 11, 825 candidates had filed to compete in the elections in the 276 constituencies, including the Santrokofi Akpafu Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) Constituency, which does not have a representation in Parliament yet.

 

Per the Party’s guidelines, eligible voters would be required to have paid their party dues in full before they would be allowed to cast their votes.

 

Branch executives and former government appointees of the Party will be eligible to vote in the elections.

 

The Chairman and Constituency executives are responsible for the venue for the constituency conference, but where there are disagreements, the elections venue “shall” be at the District Capital, the Party, said.

 

All constituencies are required to include candidates who have been duly cleared to contest through the appeal process on their ballot papers and exclude candidates who have been disqualified through the appeals process from the ballot papers. Elections will not be held till ballot papers are rectified,” it said in a statement.

 

The Party cautioned that: “Failure to strictly adhere to this directive will render any election illegal, hence a nullity, and appropriate sanctions will be applied to any person found culpable.”

 

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana

NDC elections: Ashaiman polls halted over challenges

The National Democratic Congress’ election for new executives in the Ashiaman Constituency has been halted due to numerous challenges including shortage in total number of ballot papers printed for the exercise.

 

About 3,000 delegates gathered from 6am at the Agyiri Nyarko school complex at Jericho in anticipation to elect new executives, but the exercise was called off after several hours of waiting.

 

The delegates who were not happy with the conduct of their leaders are demanding answers.

A delegate who spoke to Citi News said ”we have been here since morning, only to be told it has been called off. We will not allow this. This is total nonsense.”

 

There were agitations in the constituency earlier over the delay in the election, as the delegates pushed for the poll to be postponed.

 

The ballot papers had not arrived at the voting centre as of 12:44pm.

The delegates said it would be difficult for the over 3000 delegates to vote considering the fact that, there’s no lighting system in place to illuminate the area when it’s time for counting of ballots deep into the night.

 

Meanwhile, the election has been postponed to 7:00 am on Sunday, October 23, 2022.

 

 

 

Source: Modern Ghana