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Sports News of Saturday, 28 August 2021


AFCON 2021: Ex-Ghana captain Appiah 'would prefer Nigeria', wary of Comoros

Former Ghana skipper Stephen Appiah Former Ghana skipper Stephen Appiah

Former Ghana skipper Stephen Appiah believes the Black Stars must be wary of Comoros ahead of their meeting at the Africa Cup of Nations finals next year.

The four-time champions have been drawn together in Group C of the championship, the other two teams being Morocco and Gabon.

The delayed tournament takes place between January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon.

"It’s a very tricky one, I always say that as a former player, I will prefer to play against Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and the others because you know the players," Appiah, who played for Ghana at the 2000 and 2006 Afcon finals, said as reported by Citi Sports.

“But when you are playing against countries like Comoros and the rest, you don’t even know them, so they are likely to surprise you.

“So for me, there are no underdogs anymore, we just have to prepare well and go and perform."

Ghana will open their Afcon campaign with a clash with Morocco on January 10 before taking on Gabon four days later.

On January 18, the Black Stars will wrap up their group stage assignments with an encounter with Comoro,s who are set to make their debut at the tournament.

"It’s a tricky group. Currently, every country has improved because the game is dynamic and you cannot idle around. I see it as a difficult group," Appiah’s former international colleague John Pantsil, who featured at multiple Afcon tournaments for Ghana, said after the Afcon draw.

"Ghana will qualify at all cost, but we need to approach everything about it seriously. During our time we were always serious about qualifying, so I pray they maintain that discipline. It’s a very tricky group but Ghana will qualify.

"We will have problems if we don’t get ready. Our readiness is what will take us to the next stage. The group we find ourselves in is not something to relax over.

"We cannot underestimate Gabon and Morocco, they always prove stubborn in tournaments they feature in. So we must be serious and be well prepared."

At the last Afcon, Ghana were eliminated at the Round of 16 following a penalty shoot-out defeat to Tunisia.