May 30, 2024 7:24 pm

What Hayatou told me before AFCON 2010; Nyantakyi reveals in first public appearance since 2018

Erstwhile President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi, has sent his goodwill message to the Black Stars ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) being held in Cameroon.

Making his first ever public appearance and speech after his suspension from football management in June 2018, the longest serving president for the GFA said he believes the Black Stars would make Ghana proud. He indicated the number of inexperienced players in the squad will go a long way in helping the team.

His comment, he noted, is based on what ensued at the 2010 edition of the tournament where Ghana presented a couple of youthful players but made it to the finals even when people didn’t believe in the team.

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Mr. Nyantakyi said Ghana’s squad at Angola 2010 was infused with many of the Under 20 players who lifted the youth World Cup in Cairo the previous year.

“I remember [Issa] Hayatou – then CAF President — called me and said, ‘Kwesi, your team is too young, inexperienced, AFCON is not for inexperienced players’ but we were able to sail through to the finals,” he told Captain Smart on the preview of the 2021 AFCON on Onua ‘Maakye’ Friday, January 7, 2021.

He therefore called on the citizenry to encourage the playing body since this year’s team has about 17 players who have never played the AFCON.

Many of these newbies he intimated, would want to prove themselves and relaunch their careers, which will propel the team to go further in the tournament.

He urged the public not to discourage the players with foul words since many of them are young.

“If you say something and they get discouraged, they can’t…do you remember 2008 when Asamoah Gyan was young? People said a lot of things and he packed his luggage from the Fiesta Royale hotel and left. The President himself had to talk to him including some of us before he returned. So they need our supoort”

Aside from Ghana which Mr. Nyantakyi wants to win the AFCON, the other nations he believes have what it takes to win the trophy are Mali, Senegal, Algeria and Morocco.

Ghana is set to play her first game against Morocco on Monday, January 10, 2021 in Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital.

Source: Ghanasonline.com

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