Ghana’s Ambassador to the USA; His Excellency Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith, has urged the Black Stars; the senior men’s national of Ghana to stay focused as they prepare to encounter the Canucks, their Canadian counterparts.
Ambassador Smith said this in his welcome address during a pre-game press conference held at the auditorium of the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC by Top Global LLC, organizers of the historic international friendly that will kick off October 13, 2015 at the RFK Stadium in Washington DC.
Ambassador Smith said to the Black Stars: “we all know that you have a mission at hand, which is the friendly match between you and your Canadian counterparts. As you prepare for it, I advise that you avoid distractions, be focused and dedicated so you can give good accounts of yourselves. I hasten to add that you should also have fun”.
In his closing remarks, Ambassador Smith wished the Black Stars well, believing that “this match will help in preparing the team for both the African and world cup qualifiers”. Senior Embassy officials present were Mr. Skido Achulo; Deputy Head of Mission, Mrs. Amma Twum-Boafo; Head of Chancery, and Information Minister Jojo Bruce Quansah. Members of the public were also in attendance.
The pre-game Press Conference was moderated by Oral Ofori of TheAfricanDream LLC, a US based African Affairs Information and Communication Consultancy who are also media partners for the game. In attendance were Avram Grant; coach of the Ghana Black Stars, Michael Findlay; assistant coach for Canada who sat in for Benito Floro the head coach, and Saani Diarra; Spokesperson for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) who sat in for Kwesi Nyantakyi, GFA President.
Kenny Stamatopoulos, captain of the Canadian side for the friendly represented his teammates at the conference while the Ghana Black Stars’ players were represented by Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu of Italian Seria A club Udinese who has been named captain, he was accompanied by fellow teammate John Boye of Turkish side Sivasspor.
Canadian Deputy Coach Michael Findlay in an interview with Oral Ofori after the press event expressed his excitement about the game, saying Nana Attakora-Gyan (currently playing for the San Antonio Scorpions in the North American Soccer League) who was recently called by Coach Floro to feature for Canada against Ghana in this match “has a very popular Ghanaian first name — Nana”.
Another Canadian player with African roots is Samuel Adekugbe who plays his club soccer with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in Major League Soccer. Samuel’s last name stems from his Nigerian lineage. He will be playing in defense for the Canucks against Ghana On Tuesday October 13, 2015. Kick off time is 7:30pm Eastern Standard time. The game will also be available online for fans at http://iframe.dacast.com/b/
Some of the US based Ghanaian media outlets that attended the pre-game press conference are Sankofa Radio, Highlife Radio, 3G Media, Afrikan post newspaper and TribeZone TV Africa who are also media partners of the game. The last time Ghana played Canada was 1985 in Seoul Korea, the game ended 2-1 in favor of the Canadians.
Source: Oral Ofori, webmaster; www.TheAfricanDream.net