. . . From NDC
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Presidential Candidate, Prof John Evans Atta Mills, has called on Ghanaians to support the Black Stars with thier body, soul and spirit to enable the national team annex the trophy.
In a special message through the Daily Graphic, Prof Mills who described himself as the chief supporter of the Black Stars said that the sky must be the limit and was wishing the Black Stars all the very best of luck.
He said that as the 26th edition of the Cup of Nations kicked off, his head and heart were with the Black Stars.
He said that football was all about goals and it was his fervent prayer for the Black Stars to move away from creating and missing chances, to the point where they created and scored.
He said just as he was passionate about it, “when I watch the national teams, Hearts of Oak, and Manchester United, I know that fellow Ghanaians are also passionate about the game of football and will be stretching every sinew in support of the Stars”.
He said that John Mensah and his colleagues were going to be on the field hearing millions of Ghanaian voices in their ears and they must know that that would be happening out of no other prompting than love for one’s nation.
“Nobody can feel the heat more than the players and I am sure they are very much aware of the daunting task ahead and will do all it takes not to disappoint Ghanaians,” he stated.
He said that as one-time Chairman of the Black Stars Management Team during some of the trying moments of this nation, he knew what the likes of Kwesi Nyantekyi were going through, especially as we were hosting the tournament.
“Talking about my days as Chairman of the Black Stars Management Team, I cannot forget about the sacrifices that the likes of Abedi Pele, Tony Yeboah and Edward Ansah made for mother Ghana”, he said.
He said he could not also forget about the contribution of the late Alhaji Maikano in being a rallying point for the players.
“I ask of our media men to act as professionals and discharge their duties devoid of sectarian interests and unnecessary emotions,” he added.
The Ghanaian in them will be rooting for the Black Stars but that should not take away from the fact that they are professionals whose professional competence must not be sacrificed, no matter how enticing the temptation is.
He said that some key media friends of his had complained about accreditation and he had also heard that there were hitches as regards the availability of tickets.
“I am trusting that before Sunday, Dr Kofi Amoah, Mr Magnus Rex Danquah and the LOC will hem in all the loose ends for us to begin the tournament on a united and acceptable note,” he stated.
The sky must be the limit and I wish the Black Stars all the best.
. . . CPP
The Convention People’s Party (CPP) Flag bearer, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, has said that all Ghanaians must be proud at this time as the country is about to host Africa’s premier soccer event — the Cup of Africa Nations Tournament.
He said soccer was the passion of the nation as evidenced by the tremendous attention paid by all Ghanaians when the Black Stars engaged in competitions.
In recent times, he said that the Black Stars had made the whole nation proud by qualifying for the World Cup for the first time and then performing very well.
“Hosting international events is a mark of arrival on the world stage. As such, the hosting of this important sporting event says to the world that “we are worthy of attention!” he stated.
He said this required that “we perform very well as hosts — all Ghanaians — so that the world can go away with positive memories about us, our attitude and our hospitality”.
He said it would serve our collective interest very well if Ghanaians were even more disciplined and friendly than we usually were.
“We must keep our neighbourhoods clean, our streets free of litter and refrain from unhygienic conduct”, he stated stressing that everyone with responsibility to meet and greet visitors, provide service of any type or serve in any official capacity must work with great efficiency.
He took the opportunity to congratulate the Local Organising Committee led by Dr Kofi Amoah on credible job done so far.
“Now the entire country must stand shoulder to shoulder with the LOC and others to fill any gaps left, so that Ghana can perform well,” he said.
“All of us must give the Black Stars our maximum support so that they can shine for Ghana, he said, adding, “There is victory for Ghana! Go Black Stars Go, Forward Ever!”
The National Women’s Organiser of the CPP, Hajia Hamdatu Haruna, said there must be no security lapses whatsoever, especially with the removal of the Sector Minister, Mr Francis Poku, from his post this week.
She said Ghana 2008 must be so well organised that visitors would feel proud and compelled to come back to Ghana again and again.
The General Secretary of the party, Mr Ivor Kobina Greenstreet, was happy to note that the Black Stars’ song, currently enjoying airtime, had the CPP slogan “forward ever” in it.
He said the tournament was a national affair and support must, therefore, be national in character.
. . . NPP
THE National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Peter MacManu, on behalf of his party and the flag bearer, Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has expressed high optimism that the unity among the Black Stars and their technical team is a recipe for winning the tournament.
“While wishing the team well, I want to caution that the only enemy that could hinder the Black Stars from achieving their dream is complacency,” he said.
Mr Mac-Manu told the Daily Graphic that with such great players as Michael Essien, Sulley Ali Muntari, John Mensah and the Kingsons blending with the young players, Ghana stood the chance of going for the ultimate.
He said the government, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) needed to be congratulated on putting in the necessary infrastructure to make the coming tournament a success.
Mr Mac-Manu reminded Ghanaians that the Ghana 2008 was not just a football fiesta, but also a symbol of unity among the entire African continent.
He noted that the current uplift of the national psyche was needed to calm down the intense politicking by the various political parties towards the December 2008 elections.
He, therefore, observed that winning the cup would be “an icing on the cake towards efforts being made by well-meaning people to ensure a peaceful electioneering”.
. . . PNC
THE flag-bearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Mahama, has reminded players of the Black Stars that Ghana won the bid to host the 26th African Cup of Nations due to the celebration of its 50th anniversary.
“You, therefore, have no excuse for not winning the cup since doing so will be an icing on the cake of the Golden Jubilee anniversary,” he said.
Dr Mahama noted that the players should play an exceptional game to show that their participation in the 2006 World Cup in Germany was not a fluke.
Conveying his message of goodwill to the team through the Daily Graphic, he said the onerous was on the team to use their skills to show that “they are the Brazil of Africa”.
He, therefore, encouraged the players to go for the ultimate to enable the country live up to its accolade as an exceptional soccer nation.
“Go on and play the ‘agoro’ type of soccer and win the cup for the fifth time as a high point of the country’s 50th anniversary”, he stated.
To the people, Dr Mahama called on them to put up their best behaviour and give the visitors a real treat of the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality to leave a lasting impression on their minds.
“Let us not manhandle and molest our,” he advised.
The National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, also appealed to handlers and players of the Black Stars to be disciplined both on and off the field of play during the forthcoming Ghana 2008 tournament.
“Until this is done, our cherished dream of winning the tournament will be a mirage,” he said.
Alhaji Ramadan stated that Ghanaians needed to exhibit a high sense of patriotism by supporting the Black Stars to win the cup.
. . . DFP
The National Chairman of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Alhaji Abdul Rahman Issaka, has reminded the Black Stars that they will encounter stiff opposition in their quest to win the Ghana 2008 football fiesta.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, during which Alhaji Issaka conveyed the party’s goodwill message to the team, he said it was only through determination and hard work, in the face of stiff opposition, that the Black Stars would be able to annex the cup.
He asked the participating teams to adhere to the rules governing the tournament to ensure a smooth game during the three-week period of the game.
He commended the government, the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and other committees set up in the various cities where the matches would be played for the wonderful work done so far.
“What is left is for Ghanaians to be prepared to welcome their numerous guests with warmth to let them feel at home so that the country will reap the benefits of hosting the tournament,” he said.
He said it was the prayer of the party and all Ghanaians that the Black Stars would win the ultimate to crown the celebration of the country’s Golden Jubilee anniversary celebration.
. . . GCPP
THE Leader of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Mr Dan Lartey, has described the 26th African Cup of Nations as a symbol of African unity and nothing should be done to mar its intended purpose.
He has, therefore, challenged all participating teams to be disciplined and accept the outcome of their matches.
Mr Lartey told the Daily Graphic in the party’s goodwill message to the Black Stars that it was important for them to win the cup against all odds.
He said by winning the bid to host the tournament, Ghana had the opportunity to showcase its brand of football, which enabled the 1963, 1965, 1978 and the 1982 squads win those editions for the country.
“The hosting right also indicates the confidence the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has in the country”, he said, adding that “the peaceful atmosphere in the country is serving as an attraction to other African countries”.
Mr Lartey noted that there could not be any better time than now for the Black Stars to win the cup and, therefore tasked the team to avoid any situation that would not be helpful to their cause.
He congratulated the other participating teams on qualifying to be part of the tournament and urged them to enjoy the best of Ghanaian hospitality while staying in the country.