Sports

Ghana: Coach Sarpong Cautionsblack Stars Against Complacency

Veteran Coach, Joseph Emmanuel Sarpong, aka JE Sarpong, has cautioned the Black Stars of Ghana not to underrate their 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying group opponents.

According to Coach J.E Sarpong, Africa football was developing very fast, making it tough or difficult to predict doom for any opponent.

Ghana was placed in Group E with Angola, Madagascar and Central African Republic for the next AFCON scheduled for Cote d'Ivoire in 2023.

Speaking to the Times Sports yesterday, Coach Sarpong said Ghana's AFCON qualifying group looks easy, looking at it with a technical eye but the pace of football development on the African continent makes it unpredictable to underrate any country.

"Many Ghanaians have become veryskeptical about the AFCON draw. Some have described the group asan easy one with others believing it is a tricky one; none of them are wrong but we'll still have to manage it well."

The former Accra Great Olympics and Hearts of Oak coach said it was important for Ghanaians to remember what happened at the Cameroon AFCON 2021 where the Black Stars lost to Comoros.

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"This was never expected to happen but it did and we were shocked. That is the level to which the game has developed. Every country can hurt you so we should be circumspect. Any country can pull a surprise when it comes to African football."

Commenting on interests shown by some players born outside the country to play for the Black Stars, Coach J.E Sarpong urged the technical team to only invite those that are ready to play and sacrifice for Ghana.

"In considering their readiness to play for the Stars, their inclusion must be seen to have beefed up the squad and not those that will come and warm our benches."

He said that the timing of the AFCON qualifiers should give the technical team the chance to try some of these 'wannabe' Black Stars before making informed decisions on them.

"All the countries are calling their best players and we also need to do same if we want to qualify to the AFCON 2023 and continue to impress at the World Cup in Qatar as well."

Artmotion S.Africa

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