Soccer News of Saturday, 15 November 2003

Source: GNA

Somalia throws in the towel

Ghana v Somalia (1st leg) - Kick-off 1700 GMT

Coach Abdi Farah Gella, Technical Director of the Somali national team, has thrown in the towel, 48 hours before their first leg world cup qualifying match against the Black Stars of Ghana at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.

The coach who arrived in the country with his team on Friday morning and spoke to the GNA Sports doubted his side's chances of making any impact in the two-leg affair against the pedigree of the Stars on the international scene.

"Our chances of winning is only 30 per cent judging from the crop of inexperienced local players we will be parading against the calibre of players in the Ghanaian team", the coach stated.

He said, "we are soccer minnows and the development of our game cannot be compared to that of Ghana, and it will be a herculean task to cause any major upset under such circumstances."

Coach Gella who praised Ghana's ace coach, Charles Kumi Gyamfi, who he worked with from 1994-1997, and described him as "an excellent coach," conceded that the Ghanaian team made up of five foreign-based players who play competetive football week-after-week will be miles ahead of his boys when they lock horns on Sunday evening.

On the contrary, many soccer analysts the GNA spoke to were of the view that, the Somali coach is just employing psychological tactics to undo the Ghanaians.

According to the majority of them, the Ghanaian team should be cautious of the Somalis, taking into consideration the past experiences with minnows like Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.

The 25-man contingent of the Somali national team currently lodging at the Novotel in Accra arrived at the Kotoka International Airport, on Friday to take on the Black Stars of Ghana in a world cup qualifying match billed for 5 O'clock Sunday.

The contingent made up of 20 players and five officials was met on arrival by Mr Joe Aggrey, a Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports,

Mr Ben Koufie Chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and other officials of the GFA.