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Sports News of Friday, 2 July 2010

Source: Beauregard Tromp

It's time for 'BaGhana BaGhana

Madiba is leading the support behind Ghana's black Stars, with the former president ready to welcome a victorious team in Cape Town.

South Africans are rallying behind the only African team still in the World Cup, with thousands of "BaGhana BaGhana" supporters sporting the colours of the continental flag-bearers.

Ghana's Minister for Youth and Sports, Akua Sena Dansua, said the team had been invited by the Nelson Mandela municipality to fly to Cape Town to meet the iconic liberation fighter.

"I am informed that the municipality of Port Elizabeth has offered to fly the Black Stars to Cape Town on Saturday, where they will have an interaction with Nelson Mandela," Dansua told Ghana's citiFM radio station.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation would not confirm his meeting with the Ghanaian team, who narrowly beat the US to book their place in the quarter-finals.

The prospect of meeting the legendary statesman is something Ghana's self-appointed No 1 fan sees as an occasion that could only spur his team on to keep the trophy on African soil.

"Ghana will take the Cup for Africa and for the president of Africa, Mandela," announced an animated Asante as he drew hordes of fans in Newtown, Joburg.

Asante was part of a 1 000-strong group of supporters sponsored by the Ghanaian government to attend the first African World Cup.

As Ghana battled it out with the US in Rustenburg, the fans were making their way back to Accra after the government pulled the plug on the excursion due to economic pressures.

Despite having to rely on handouts from fellow Ghanaians, and with no ticket for today's match, Asante has decided to stay on, desperate to will his team on to further success in the World Cup.

"On Friday the African spirit will come out of my pot and we will win," asserted an excited Asante.

Ghana could become the first African team to progress to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

They meet a resolute Uruguay, led by top strikers Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez, at 8.30pm at Soccer City.

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