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Ghana president Akufo-Addo reveals reason for optimism ahead of 2022 World Cup

21:18 WAT 05/04/2022
Ghana Black Stars
The head of state is in confident mood ahead of the Black Stars' return to the world stage

Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo believes the Black Stars current young generation of players bode well for the team ahead of the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Set for a return to the global gathering following an absence in 2018, the West Africans, currently under a new technical leadership headed by Otto Addo, have been drawn in Group H which features Portugal, Uruguay, and South Korea.

The clash with Uruguay is of special interest to Ghanaians after the South American side broke African hearts at the 2010 World Cup by sending the Black Stars packing out of the tournament in a dramatic quarter-final fixture.

“The new coach of Ghana has done a good job especially in mobilising some of the younger – if you like, unknown and ‘untried’ players but technically gifted and talented,” Akufo-Addo told the BBC.

“I think that these competitions usually when you go there with people who are hungry to make a name for themselves to prove themselves, you are probably in a good space.

“I have no doubt that it will be a motivating factor. They will be very cautious of it and hopefully reverse the result of the 2010 experience [against Uruguay].”

Ghana will open their campaign against Portugal on November 24 at Stadium 974 in Doha.

Four days later, the Black Stars return to action with a clash with South Korea at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan.

On December 2, Otto Addo’s side will wrap up their group stage adventure with their much-anticipated encounter with Uruguay at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah.

At the 2010 World Cup, Ghana exited the competition following a 4-2 penalty shoot-out defeat to La Celeste after Asamoah Gyan spurned a last-gasp penalty to win the game for the Black Stars in extra-time.

Ghana qualified for this year’s World Cup on away goals rule following a 1-1 aggregate draw with arch-rivals Nigeria in the African play-offs.

The first leg ended goalless in the Ghanaian city of Kumasi while the reverse fixture in Abuja finished in a 1-1 draw, William Troost-Ekong converting a penalty to draw the Super Eagles level after Thomas Partey gave the Black Stars a valuable away lead.