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Africa Cup of Nations

'We have ourselves to blame' - Kamaldeen reflects on Ghana's disappointing Afcon 2021 campaign

17:37 GMT+3 25/01/2022
Kamaldeen Sulemana Ghana
The 19-year-old has made his first public statement on the Black Stars’ poor outing in Cameroon

Ghana attacker Kamaldeen Sulemana has described their underwhelming Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Cameroon as a learning experience.

Rated among the favourites heading into the tournament, the Black Stars did not live up to expectations as they suffered a group-stage elimination from the continental showpiece.

More embarrassing was the fact that they finished bottom of the table in a group which also featured Morocco, Gabon and debutants Comoros, and ended their adventure without a single win, the first time in their tournament history.

“My first dance at Afcon started on the wrong foot with performances as a team beyond embarrassing but very grateful for my debut in this prestigious tournament,” Stade Rennes youngster Kamaldeen said in a statement on social media.

“A very tough experience with so many learning curves. Things didn’t go as planned and we have ourselves to blame as a team.

“Sincere apologies. No excuse or apology is enough, for Ghana deserves better. Giving up is never an option, we will be back and I mean we will back!

“Thank you for the unrivalled support and kind messages.”



Ghana exited the competition after a shock 3-2 loss to Comoros, who had neither scored a goal nor won a point before their matchday three fixture.

Their group stage elimination was Ghana’s first since failing to progress to the knock-out stage at the 2006 tournament in Egypt.

In Cameroon, the West Africans opened their campaign with a 1-0 loss to Morocco, undone by a late Sofiane Boufal strike.

On matchday two, Ghana appeared headed for a win by an early Andre Ayew goal until late when Jim Allevinah netted to level the score.

The Black Stars went into their last group game confident of registering their first three points of the tournament, but it was not to be as they surprisingly found the opposition too strong.

Kamaldeen, who made his international debut in 2020, featured in all three of Ghana’s Afcon matches, making the first XI each time.

The 19-year-old and the Black Stars will hope to bounce back in their next assignment when they take on arch-rivals Nigeria over two legs in the 2022 World Cup play-offs in March.