Sports News of Friday, 25 March 2011
Ex-captain Stephen Appiah has been invited as the special guest of the Ghana Football Association for Tuesday’s historic friendly against England.
GFA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi ordered the inclusion of the Cesena midfielder as a member of the country’s delegation to the game at Wembley.
Appiah nearly broke down in tears when the GFA informed him of the decision.
The iconic ex-captain of the Black Stars will join the GFA’s delegation in London on Monday before the match.
Appiah is revered in Ghana for his role in helping to revive the Black Stars that was previously divided which affected the team performance.
He helped the country to qualify for their first two World Cups and Nyantakyi says those who serve the country whole-heartedly must be rewarded.
“Appiah has played a major role in what the Black Stars has become today and we think for his work for mother Ghana he must be part of this historic team,” Ghana FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi said.
“We want the other players in the squad to see that when you serve your country with all your heart, your country will recognise and reward you.
“This will spur this generation and the next generations to serve their country sincerely for us to continue to have good results.
“Appiah is a hero for Ghana and Ghana recognizes that.”
The Cesena player was touched by the gesture of the Ghana FA boss and reveals he nearly broke down in tears.
“I received a call from the Ghana FA protocol director who announced to me that I am part of the GFA’s delegation to England,” Appiah said.
“I am so moved by this big gesture from the GFA that I feel like crying. We only came to serve the people our country and I am touched that the people appreciate the service we gave them.
“I want to thank Mr Nyantakyi, Mr Fred Pappoe, my ex-Black Stars team-mates and the people of Ghana for giving me the opportunity.
“Now let’s beat Congo on Sunday, defeat England on Tuesday and Ghana will continue to rise.”
Ghana play Congo in the vital African Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday before the game with England.