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Sports News of Friday, 8 February 2008

Source: GNA

Parliament cheers up Stars

Accra, Feb. 8, GNA- Parliament on Friday cheered up the Black Stars of Ghana for losing gallantly to Cameroun's Indomitable Lions at the semi-finals stage at the 26th African Cup Nations Soccer tournament.

"Mr Speaker, the Nation as a whole must congratulate these players for a heroic and gallant exit. Their performance was spectacular. They displayed absolute commitment and selfless dedication to a cause worthy of emulation," Mr Abuga Pele, ranking Member for Youth and Sports said in a statement on the floor of the House.

Ghana's Black Stars, who had sailed successfully through the tournament, exited from their journey and quest to host and win the tournament when they were beaten by 1-0 at the semi-final stage in their Thursday evening encounter with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun. The team fizzled out at the semi-final stage, but Members of the Legislature urged the Black Stars on for their match for the third position scheduled for Kumasi on Saturday against the Ivorians. However, Mr Pele gleaned lessons from Ghana's exit, and called for early preparations for the CAN 2010 in Angola and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"The team must be infused with additional defenders and attackers. Hard decisions should be taken early such as the retention of the Coach, or otherwise, funding and sponsorship, clear vision on the kind of friendly matches to play and the needed publicity to rally the nation," Mr. Pele said.

He however, punched holes into the organisation of the tournament itself, mentioning problems of ticketing and badly managed publicity. Mr Isaac Asiamah, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth, Sports and Culture, noted that football had no logic, and commended the Ghanaian boys for playing their hearts out as well as soccer fans, for their maturity and not relenting in their support for the Stars, even when they were defeated.

He pointed a bright future for the Stars, saying that with the quality infrastructure and sound training, Ghana was poised to win in Angola 2010 and South Africa 2010.

Meanwhile, Members of the British House of Commons, which made a courtesy call on the leadership of the House, would play of Ghana's parliament in a friendly match at the El-Wak Stadium in Accra on Saturday.