30th June, 2010
Three times African Footballer of the Year, Abedi Ayew Pele, has thrown his weight behind the Black Stars of Ghana, who will engage Uruguay in Fridayâ€™s quarter final match of the ongoing South Africa 2010 World Cup.
The former skipper of the Black Stars declared that the Ghanaians will have an edge over the Europeans, as the team have what it takes to come out victorious at the end of hostilities on Friday night.
Abedi, a former Olympique Marseille of France player strongly believes that Ghana, who are the only African country remaining in the World Cup would laugh last when they confront the Diego Forlan inspired Uruguayans in the quarter final cracker.
According to him, â€œthe Black Stars have done enough in this tournament and they are still going to do well when they face Uruguay on Friday. I expect them to come out smoking, firing on all cylinders. They have come far enough and defied all odds to qualify to this stage. I donâ€™t think Uruguay can stop them in the quarter final match.â€
Abedi, who has two of his children in the present squad of the Black Stars currently campaigning in the mundial noted that there is need for all Africans to rally support for the Ghanaian team, saying â€œwhat Ghana need now is the African spirit. The Black Stars are the only hope of Africa now. They are the team that can give Africa the desired breakthrough in the World Cup. Coach Milovan Rajevac has done a great job by building the team fromÂ scratch and put them together as a strong squad. Iâ€™m calling on Africans to support the team against Uruguay on Friday.”
Ghana President Attah Mills has charged the Black Stars to go all out for victory in the match against Uruguay, saying all Ghanaians and indeed Africans are behind them.
Mills urged the team to show the African spirit to advance to the semi final of the World Cup.
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki in a statement sent to the Ghana Football Association congratulated the Black Stars and urged them to do Africa proud in the match.
â€œIt is clear that the Black Stars will now have to discharge the highly honourable and well-deserved responsibility to represent Africa and the African Diaspora in the next stages of the World Cup.
â€œI am certain that Africans will now rally behind the Black Stars to guarantee that we cap the fact of the very successful hosting of the World Cup by Africa by ensuring that on behalf of the continent and the Diaspora, the Black Stars, now of Africa, win the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Black Stars under the watchful eyes of Rajevac were yesterday drilled for several hours preparatory to the all-important clash. P.M. Sportsâ€™ checks at the teamâ€™s training base revealed that Rajevac placed emphasis on long passes unlike their usual pattern of short passes. He also concentrated on set pieces: corner kicks, penalties and free kicks.
Asked why he was drilling the team for long hours, he quickly chastised our correspondent, querying him how he got access into their training ground. He, however, answered the question saying, â€œit is football, anything can happen. We envisage that the match could go into extra time and the players must be prepared for the task ahead. So we are leaving nothing to chance to ensure that we are not caught napping in any area.â€