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85-years-old Ayitey Hammond commends Stars
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Soccer News of Friday, 18 October 2013

Source: Sammy Heywood Okine

85-years-old Ayitey Hammond commends Stars

An octogenarian, 85 years old football addict Ayitey Hammond has commended the Black Stars of Ghana for walloping the Pharoahs of Egypt by six goals to one at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.

Speaking to yours truly after the game, he said the Black Stars deserve tons of congratulations for beating the seven times champion of Africa by such a wide margin. He expressed that Ghana had always produced great footballers from the good old days of Chris Briandt, J.K. Mensah, Aggrey Fynn, Baba Yara and co through the era of Addo Odametey, Osei Kofi, Doodo Ankrah, Ibrahim Sunday to the days of Adolf Armah, Mohammed Polo, Abdul Razak, Francis Kumi, Ben Kayede, Opoku Nti to the present generation of Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, Asamoah Gyan, Dede Ayew and Kwadwo Asamoah.

According to Hammond, Ghana is a blessed football nation just like Brazil, Spain and England, but the West African nation has not ultilised its blessing very well for the players and the nation to benefit.

He noted that the present generation are performing well because when they are promised, it is fulfilled but the old stars have suffered much in the hands of some politicians who never cared for the lives of sportsmen and what sports can do for the nation.

The former Ghana Posts & Telecommunications employee who had some coaching training with Sekiondi Eleven Wise said the reasonswhy Ghana is qualifying for the third World Cup is significant because now the right things are being done and the focus of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) is on the FIFA World Cup.

He hinted that in the late 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s the focus of the GFA was on the African Cup and that was the reason why Ghana had won the African Cup four times by 1982, when Cameroun had then not won one and Egypt had also no won seven times.

He stressed that when the focus was shifted to going to the Under 17, Ghana did very well to grab world honours in 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 and 1999, then in 2001 Ghana went to Argentina to place runners up at the Under 20 World Championship and won in 2009. Earlier Ghana had been to the finals of the World Youth Cup in 1993, because the juvenile teams did well and they transformed their success story to the youth level.

Ayitey Hammond said the current GFA lead by Lawyer Kwesi Nyantekyi are doing very well with their relationships programs, especially with te media, corporate world, government and supporters who go out to the stadia to cheer the teams to victory. He congtratulated the current Black Starssquad and advised them to be focused and resilent in what ever they are doing. He charged them to be united than ever and support each other on and off the field of play.

He told yours truly to advice the team to use the second leg play off in Egypt as a training session to improve upon their defence and goal scoring abilities.

“The time has come for Ghana to win the World Cup in Brazil, we are capable, we can do it. The Black Stars need the support of all Ghanaians and the whole African continent” he added.

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