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Sports News of Thursday, 1 October 2020


History behind Akonnor to win AFCON - Sports Minister

Ghana sports minister Isaac Kwame Asiamah believes history backs Black Stars coach CK Akonnor to lead the team to Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) success.

The former Wolfsburg skipper was appointed Ghana coach in January with a task to guide the Black Stars to break a 38-year continental drought and inspire the team to make a return to the World Cup.

The next Afcon tournament is set for Cameroon in 2022, with Ghana currently in pole position to qualify for the gathering.

"We have won the Afcon four times and all the coaches who won the trophies for us were our own local coaches," Asiamah told Adom TV.

"President Akufo-Addo believes in the capacity of local coaches to deliver, so he says we should appoint a local coach.

"By God’s grace, CK Akonnor is a Ghanaian and we should all support him. I am convinced that CK Akonnor has the requisite qualities to lead the Black Stars.

"He [Akonnor] has demonstrated that he can deliver as a coach. I watched him at Kotoko and I am convinced he can do the job for the country.

"Let’s support him and I know he will not let the country down. I have no doubt Akonnor can lead us to win the Africa Cup of Nations. He has played at the highest level.

"He has captained the Black Stars and I believe with the necessary support, he can win the Afcon. I have no doubt about that."

Ghana have won Afcon on four occasions, the last time being in 1983.

The Black Stars won their first title on home soil in 1963, beating Sudan in the final.

Two years later in Tunisia, Ghana ruled the continent for the second time, this time accounting for the hosts after extra time in the climax.

CK Gyamfi coached the Black Stars to win the two titles. Back on home soil once again in 1978, Ghana handed Uganda a 2-0 defeat to win the cup under Fred Osam Duodu, four years before clinching their fourth, their last title being at Libya 1982 (guided by Gyamfi).

James Kwasi Appiah remains the last Ghanaian to lead the team to the Afcon, their quest in 2019 disappointingly ended at the Round of 16 stage.

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