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Soccer News of Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Source: 90 Minutes Newspaper

Let's Look Beyond FIFA Rankings - Randy Abbey

THE Ghana Football Association continues to be inveighed against for the results of the last two friendly matches played by the Black Stars. This brouhaha stems from the fact that make-shift under-age teams were used to represent the Stars in the two friendlies in which Ghana conceded seven goals. It will be recalled that Ghana's Black Meteors, cast in the mould of the Black Stars lost 2-4 to Iran, whilst the Black Satellites received a 3-1 spanking from their Qatarian counterparts.

These results have sparked nationwide concerns about the prudence of Ghana's participation in the two matches. But according to the GFA's communications director, Randy Abbey, the GFA and Ghanaians as a whole must look beyond the rankings and see how best to mature our junior national teams. “Making Meteors play against Iran was a good preparatory ground for the team which will be fighting Ghana's case at the 9th All-African Games to be held in Algiers from 11th -23rd July” he said.

He continued by saying that since the All African Games competition does not fall under FIFA's calendar, foreign clubs are not obliged to release players hence the need to be on the qui vive. “As for the Satellites game with Qatar, the FA found it necessary to truncate the existing culture of leaving a national team idle for a long time and as we all know, they would not be playing a competitive or friendly match for some time after their dismal show at the Toulon tournament” the affable Randy Abbey added.

He went on to disabuse the minds of people who have intoxicated themselves with the idea that members of the FA were using the national teams as tools or appendages to reach their selfish “El Dorados”. “It's not true. It may interest you to know that some of these friendlies doesn't even earn us a dime, let alone make us rich overnight. A fine analogy is the Sasol Eight Nations tournament the Black Satellites are currently playing in South Africa” he added.

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