Is Maxwell Konadu the only one not seeing the obvious?

Accra, It was tough and a bit embarrassing watching Ghana Black Stars ‘B’ labour against an energetic Super Green Eagles of Nigeria side in the last group game of the 2017 FOX Sports West African Football Union (WAFU) Nations Cup on Monday night.

Ghana were just a pale shadows of themselves in their defeat to Nigeria, considering the zest with which the team had played in their last two games. But in the match against Nigeria it seemed the players were weary.

The local Black Stars without a shred of doubt, had shown massive signs of improvement in this tournament after the first game against the Gambia, which they won not so convincingly through a controversial penalty goal. That particular game left many Ghanaian fans �many of whom were still recovering from the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) elimination- with little hope in the team winning the tournament as host.

However, knowing how Ghanaian fans love football and their national teams, they were prepared to give the team a second chance to prove themselves in the tournament, hence the massive support they have received at the Cape Coast Stadium thus far. Indeed the Black Stars B utilized the opportunity and came to the party in the first two games of the group stages.

As hosts, the team rode on the back of the unflinching support from the fans to overcome a highly intensive and physical opposition in Mali (2-0) and Guinea (1-0) to secure a place in the semifinals of the competition.

Besides the fact that the two previous group games had a toll on the players, the lack of adequate rest for the players to recover properly in this competition has been a major source of concern. Players will have to play after every 48 hours which puts a lot of strain on them.

Ghana has made little alteration to the starting eleven from the first day of the competition. Winful Cobbinah, Vincent Atinga and Stephen Sarfo were all given a starting role from the group stage after missing the Gambia game – the only changes from the Gambia match. The same team that played Mali in the first group game played Guinea within 48 hours.

Coach Konadu should have rested some of his key players against Nigeria, since Ghana had completed her mission of qualifying from the group and knowing that, regardless of the results in the last group games, Ghana would still maintain her position as leaders of the group.

But this wasn’t to be, as Konadu decided to maintain a similar side against Nigeria with the only exclusion being Thomas Abbey, who was not fit after the Guinea game. It was quite surprising to see skipper Isaac Twum (who had played all three games) in the line-up, after the technical team had confirmed that he had sustained an injury during the warm up session. No wonder Twum lasted only seven minutes on the pitch playing through injury before being substituted and replaced by Ahmed Adams.

It was evident right from the start of the game that the Black Stars B players were fatigued with their lethargic approach to play and the rate at which they pulled muscles during the game. Vincent Atinga in the 30th minute was seen holding the back of his thigh and limping after clearing a ball on the touchline.

A key component of the team, Gideon Waja, who was treated several times during the game was eventually pulled out due to muscle injury in the second half and was replaced by Kevin Andoh. Waja’s left thigh was later seen wrapped in an ice pack. Deputy Captain Amos Frimpong meanwhile was made to play the entire duration of the game with an injury after colliding with a Nigerian defender. Ghana had then exhausted all 3 substitutions � all through injuries.

The technical team of Nigeria however must be commended for the perfect way they have managed their players’ in the competition so far. In the game against Ghana for instance, they made five changes to the starting team that drew against Mali in their previous game. This was an attempt, obviously to add more energy and strength to their team, and also protect them from injuries as their recovery process was key.

The maximum rest period Ghana could have before playing their next semi-final game is approximately 48 hours. This shows how tight the competition’s schedules are, piling up matches for these poor players and the pressure put on them. That notwithstanding, these players were playing actively for their respective domestic clubs before the WAFU Cup of Nations started and so they did not get the needed rest.

The players will return to their various domestic clubs immediately after the tournament to finish the season. The intensity of matches at the end of every season for clubs awaits them and the players will be burned out by the time the season ends.

So Konadu should have managed the players by shuffling his card in the Nigeria game, at least it could have saved some of the key players in the Ghanaian team from injury.

Was it not obvious from the Nigeria loss that some of the Black Stars B players needed rest, having played in all the games so far? What about the other unused players in the team?

It remains unclear whether the injured players can continue with the rest of the tournament. Now, which of these defeats is more upsetting, a defeat to Nigeria (which wouldn’t have affected the team in anyway) or the loss of influential players in the team (which could affect our chances in the rest of the campaign.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Read More >Is Maxwell Konadu the only one not seeing the obvious?

Ghana can produce 30 million metric tons of cassava

Somanya (E/R), Ghana’s cassava production level could hit 30 million metric tons a year through the adoption of best farming practices by farmers, Professor Joe Manu Agyei of the Crop Research Institute (CRI), has said.

The country has currently being doing close to about 18 million tons annually but he said planting of high yielding, disease-resistant and pest-free varieties could result in substantial increase in production.

He was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a day’s workshop organized at Somanya by the CRI under the West African Virus Epidemiology (WAVE) for Root and Tuber Crops Program.

It brought together farmers, extension officers and officials of the Food and Agriculture Ministry from across five districts in the Eastern Region.

These are Asougyaman, Akuapem North, Yilo Krobo, Upper Manya and the Lower Manya Municipality.

Funding for the program is coming from the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the British Department for International Development (DFID).

It seeks to increase the productivity and sustainability of root and tuber crops in six African countries through coordinated management of virus diseases threats.

Prof Agyei encouraged farmers to adopt improved farming technologies and to use of quality planting materials to increase crop yield and returns.

He announced that under the planting for food and jobs program, the Chinese Government had offered to import 4.5 million tons of starch annually from the country and said to take advantage of this offer there was the need to expand cassava cultivation.

Dr. Allen Oppong, a Research Scientist and Leader of WAVE Program in Ghana, said the goal was to aid farmers to understand the virus threat to root and tuber crops in West Africa.

He urged farmers to be on the lookout for the cassava brown streak virus disease, which he described as dangerous.

The virus was yet to strike the sub-region but he said it was important to create awareness � assist farmers to know and report to the appropriate authorities for prompt response any sign of attack.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Read More >Ghana can produce 30 million metric tons of cassava

Voltic Ghana, FDA and others dragged to court

Kumasi, Voltic Ghana Limited, producers of natural mineral water together with six other companies and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) have been dragged to the Kumasi High Court (Commercial Division) over unfair trade practices.

These companies are Nivaansh Manufacturing Limited, A.R. Zare, Adat Water Limited, Straight Gate Ministry, Tasty Urban Water Limited and Right River Enterprise.

The action was brought against them by Century Investment, a limited liability company engaged in the production and sale of sachet water.

It is seeking a declaration that the arrangement under which six sachet water producers with its franchise of Voltic Ghana, have been producing sachet water under the label ‘Voltic Cool Pac’ constitutes unfair trading, deception of consumers and the public, and passing off.

Additionally, it is asking for an order of injunction restraining them and all other producers of sachet water from further producing sachet water under that label � brand name.

It also wants the court to award damages and cost.

In its statement of claim, it said Voltic Ghana had been producing, packaging and selling bottled natural mineral water with the registered brand name Voltic under license by the FDA.

Nivaansh, Zare, Adat, Tasty Urban, Straight Gate and Right River are all limited liability companies with separate registered offices and licensed by the FDA to produce and sell sachet water.

The FDA, it said was the regulatory body mandated by law to regulate the safety and provide standards for the sale of food (which by definition includes water) and drugs in Ghana among other duties.

The seven companies have for some time now been producing sachet water in 500ml with the label Cool Pac but on the larger packs containing 30 pieces of 500ml sachet water, the name ‘Voltic’ is added to read ‘Voltic Cool Pac’.

It said Voltic Ghana claimed to have given franchise to the six companies among other producers to produce, package and market sachet water with the inscription ‘Voltic Cool Pac’

It stated that the process of producing bottled mineral and sachet water was not the same.

It insisted that it was unlawful for a person to manufacture, label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive as regards its character, nature, substance or quality.

The arrangement under which the other companies are using the franchise of Voltic Ghana to produce sachet water under the label and/or brand name ‘Voltic Cool Pac’ constituted a deception of the unsuspecting consumers, unfair trading and amounted to passing off.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Read More >Voltic Ghana, FDA and others dragged to court