Category Archives: SPORTS

Prince returns to Bundesliga action

Kevin Prince Boatengg Schalke 04Kevin-Prince Boateng made his first appearance for Schalke since Februrary with a brief cameo away against his former club Hertha Berlin.

The visitors stole a point with a 90th-minute equaliser to secure a 2-2 draw and move one point clear of Augsburg in the Bundesliga table.

While Miners coach Roberto Di Matteo will be disappointed with his side’s defensive play in the capital, he will be encouraged by Schalke’s character. Despite twice falling behind, the seven-time Bundesliga champions never lost their desire and ended up nicking a point.

Hertha initially took the lead through Tunisia international Anis Ben-Hatira, before Senegalese debutant Leroy Sane equalised with a fine effort.

The Old Lady thought they had won it through Genki Haraguchi’s late effort, but they were unable to see out the last 10 minutes of the match, allowing Joel Matip to make it 2-2 at the death.

Boateng entered the contest just before Haraguchi made it 2-1, but he could only watch on helplessly as Timon Wellenreuther’s error led to Hertha taking the ascendency.

The Ghana international has become something of a peripheral figure for Schalke in recent weeks. After Di Matteo took over in October 2014, he enjoyed some good form, contributing assists against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League and Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

His form has dipped in 2015. Talk of a return to the Ghana squad under Avram Grant led to nothing, but Boateng did deliver a superb display in victory over Borussia Monchengladbach in February.

Since then, however, he has struggled to make an impact, being an unused substitute against Hoffenheim and being suspended for Schalke’s remarkable second-leg tie against Real Madrid.

The result sees the Royal Blues up to fifth in the Bundesliga table. They are two points off fourth-place Gladbach and one ahead of sixth-place Augsburg.

Yaya Toure wants me to replace him at Man. City – Afriyie Acquah

98025167.295Manchester City star Yaya Toure wants Sampdoria midfielder Afriyie Acquah to replace him at the English Premier League club, Ghana’s AFCON star has revealed.

Acquah clash with Toure in the final of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea two months ago where Ivory Coast triumphed on 9-8 on penalties.

After the final, Acquah claims Touré told him: “you will be my heir at Manchester City.”

“We went into a challenge, he dived and simulated injury. I wagged my finger at him. Yaya Touré was always my idol,” 23-year-old Acquah told Secolo XIX newspaper.

“Once the game was over, he called me and we talked. He said that I played well and one day I’d be his heir at Manchester City.

“For now, my City is Samp. I am still in contact with Touré, though.”

Acquah eventually missed a penalty in the decisive shoot-out and admits it was traumatic.

“Every time I take a penalty in training, it comes back into my mind. I watched the whole Final back on TV and cried.”

Acquah is only on loan at Samp until the end of the season, having arrived from Hoffenheim on transfer deadline day last month.

Black Stars taking delivery of promised Cherokee Jeeps

Black Stars players have started taking delivery of their Cherokee Jeep cars promised them by Tanink Ghana Limited following their exploits at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Some of the Black Stars players have been spotted driving around town in their brand new Cherokee luxury jeeps duly registered with 2015 number plates.

Most of the players who are foreign-based have delegated members of their families and friends to take delivery of their vehicle through a ‘Power of Attorney’.

The home-based players, on the other hand, are personally taking delivery of the vehicles at an unknown location in Tema.

The donation of cars to the Black Stars is in redemption of a pledge made to the team through Ghana FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi ahead of the 2014 World Cup.

The pledge was, however, not fulfilled as originally scheduled since the Black Stars failed to satisfy the condition set for them by going beyond the group stage of the tournament staged in Brazil.

The team was handed a pleasant surprise by Tanink Ghana Limited with their decision to donate the cars promised anyway, in the aftermath of Ghana’s silver medal feat at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

All 23 players that went to the Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea are entitled to one of the cars.

The Ghana FA will, however, decide on their own terms how the remaining others promised to the team will be shared.

All paperwork and registration for the vehicles have been completed and ready for use by the beneficiaries.

Laryea turns to coaching

Laryea Kingston ClapFormer Accra Hearts of Oak midfielder Laryea Kingston says he is open to returning to the club for a third stint, but this time in a coaching capacity although he insists he has not yet ended his playing career.

In an interview with the Graphic Sports last Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium, Kingston said he possessed the intelligence required to coach football at the highest level.

“Yeah sure, with the intelligence and everything that I have for the game why not? Because most of the young players will look up to me, if I am around the team it will help,” said Kingston in response to whether he would like to take up an assistant coach role with the Phobians.

The former Heart of Midlothian midfielder also disclosed that he was hopeful of making a sensational return to the Black Stars set-up once he signed for a new club and returned to competitive action.

“I took a break from football but I have not announced my retirement. I can still come back and play,” added the 34-year-old Kingston.

“The Ghanaian transfer window is closed, so I can’t tell if I will be playing for a local side. When I am fit and I start playing actively, if a Black Stars call-up comes I will honour it,” he added.

In a reaction to the recent struggles of Hearts in this year’s league, Kingston said as a fan of the club he was worried about the developments, advising the club’s management to put the right structures in place in order to halt the downward trend.

Grant’s assistance won’t be conflict of interest

Avram Grant Coach GhanaVice President of the Ghana Football Association, Fred Crentsil is of the opinion that Grants decision to offer Technical Directions to Black Satellites Head Coach Sellas Tetteh won’t be a conflict of interest.

Grant will resume work as a Technical Director for the National U-20 team when they begin their campaign in Senegal for the African Youth Championship in March.

Critics have questioned the rationale behind Grant’s work with the National U-20 team as he has been tasked by the Ghana Football Association to offer Technical Directions to Sellas Tetteh.

But Coordinator for the various national teams who also doubles as the Vice President of the Ghana Football Association, Fred Crentsil thinks otherwise. “I don’t see any conflict of interest in his job; he will not interfere with Sellas Tetteh’s job he will offer Technical Directions to him when the championship starts Fred Crentsil told Sportscrusader.com.

“He is not going to take his job from Borbor, is as simple as that, we believe that he is a top class coach who wants to help the various National teams.

Postponement of Afcon 2023 agreed – Jerome Valcke

Jerome Valcke FIFA SecretaryFifa secretary general Jerome Valcke says the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will be postponed from January to June to help move the 2022 World Cup. A Fifa taskforce has recommended the World Cup is played in November and December to avoid Qatar’s hot summer.

“The African confederation has automatically and nicely agreed it will not organise the Nations Cup in January 2023,” Valcke said.

“It will have to postpone the Africa Cup of Nations to June.”

The 2022 World Cup is set to finish in late December and the African Cup had been scheduled to start in mid-January 2023.

Valcke said the aim of postponing the continental event was “to avoid there being a release (from their clubs) of African players for the World Cup and again two weeks after for the Africa Cup of Nations.”

While Confederation of African Football spokesman Junior Binyam said the governing body is “100% behind the the proposals of the task force and will adjust its calendar accordingly”, he added he was not yet aware of Fifa’s decision to move the Nations Cup.

Protecting the World Cup from severe weather in Qatar may hamper the 2023 African Cup, however. The monsoonal rainy season in the West African nation of tournament hosts Guinea normally starts in June.

“We are all making a number of concessions to make sure that this World Cup can be played, for the players, for the fans, for the media, for whoever is attending the World Cup in the best conditions,” Valcke added. “`It is not perfect, we know that.”

Inter-Allies subdue B.A. United at Tema

Football Legs SoccerTema-based Inter Allies yesterday subdued B.A. United with a 2-0 victory in their league encounter at the Tema Sports Stadium, writes Benjamin Xornam Glover.

Burkinabe Niasre Benogo, opened scoring with a beautiful drive in the 38th minute which beat goalkeeper Isaac Hagan, after Inter-Allies had subjected the visitors’ 18-yard box to some severe pounding.

Striker Sheriff Deo Mohammed nodded the ball home to increase the tally in the 66th minute from a Frederick Yamoah cross.

At Obuasi, an excellent goal by AshantiGold’s dependable defender, Joshua Tijani, two minutes into injury time salvaged a home point for his side as they drew 2-2 with Heart of Lions at the Len Clay Stadium, writes Nana Yaw Barimah.

I feel Spanish not Ghanaian – Inaki Williams

Inaki WilliamsSpanish-born striker of Ghanaian origin Inaki Williams has given the clearest possible hint that he could play for Spain, despite his black complexion.

The 20-year-old Atletico Bilbao striker became the first Black player to score for Bilbao in the history of the Europa League as they drew 2-2 with Torino last Thursday.

Born to a Liberian father and Ghanaian mother in Basque, Spain, people are surprised to see the ebony black player in the setup of Bilbao as it is uncommon.

“You hear people say ‘A black player at Atletico Bilbao? We’ve never seen that before.’ I just laugh. My name is Inaki and I’m from Basque,” Inaki told Thinking Football.

“My parents came here over two decades ago and I can identify with the stories because they did so much for me. I was born here, I’ve been here for 20 years and although you never forget your roots, I feel Basque.”

Inaki, who has played just four games for Bilbao this season, is yet to be capped by Spain, Ghana, or Liberia at any level.

We deserved it, but the Ivoirians needed it – Gyan

Asamoah Gyan GoalCaptain Asamoah Gyan has no doubt that Ghana’s Black Stars deserved to be African champions at the recently ended African Cup of Nations (AFCON), but he also accepts the fact that the new champions, Cote d’Ivoire, had the luck to win it.

He also believes that the Ivorians needed the trophy to help in their national reconciliation process after going through some turbulent political times in the past few years.

“We deserved this trophy because we did not only give it our all, but on the day, we played better, played our hearts out and dominated the game from start to finish, and were unlucky not to have scored within regulation time. We, no doubt, deserved it, but as often as is the case in football, the Ivoirians won it. Maybe they needed it to bring their country together again after what happened in the country over the past few years.”

“Also, so much was expected of this generation of Ivorian players and perhaps, it was their time to win to take off that pressure, even though we should have won considering that we have been trying our luck for the past 33 years, 10 years more than them.”

The Al Ain striker said the Ivoirians might have drawn on their previous experience to win the title, as on two occasions, they had lost the title in similar circumstances, losing 2-4 to Egypt in 2006 and also 8-7 to Zambia, both on penalties.

“After those experiences, I believe they had the experience to hold on and they had the luck to win, because it is only in football that after having taken a 2-0 lead in penalty kicks, a team can lose. It had to be luck,so in the understanding of the game there could only be three results but in this case, only one side would win. We accept our loss,” Gyan said.

The captain admitted that he had the arduous task of consoling his team both on the pitch and in the dressing room after their disappointing loss to the Ivoirians in the final at the Bata Stadium in Equatorial Guinea, drawing from his own experience to help the players get over the miss.

Gyan was part of the team that missed out at the 2010 final in which they lost 0-1 to Egypt, and last February 8, it was another painful experience as he saw his side give up a 2-0 lead in the penalty shoot-out to lose 8-9, describing it as one of the “most difficult things to accept in the game.”

“Emotions really ran high in the dressing room and that was ok. Accepting this loss and moving on also reflect our mental strength. We can’t stop talking about it, but we have to be strong so it does not affect us in our performance at our various clubs.”

“The tournament is over and we have to go back to our respective clubs, stronger and better, hoping to give our best and avoid any injuries. From a personal experience, it is not going to be easy, but we will have to make it,” the player who has gone through a lot, dealing with his own challenges and disappointments said.

He said the players had not given up and were already looking ahead to the qualifiers for the next AFCON which kicks off in June and were also hoping that when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the hosts for the 2017 event, Ghana would be named as the hosts.

“We will be ready for the qualifiers when the time comes, but we are all praying that Ghana will win the bid to host the 2017 tournament. It will be such a great moment,” Gyan said.

We’ll win 2017 Afcon – Gyan assures

Asamah Gyan Goal King AwardBlack Stars captain, Asamoah Gyan says the team has turned their attention to the 2017 tournament, with a promise to win it.
According to the former Sunderland striker, a resolve to end Ghana’s 33-year continental drought runs deep in the team and he is highly confident they can build on the team’s achievements in Equatorial Guinea to deliver the title at the 2017 AFCON, if they can maintain their focus and mental strength.
“For me, for this team we got 2017 coming up and I am sure we can pick up,” Gyan told host of Starr Chat, Bola Ray Wednesday evening when he was inducted into the Starr Hall of Fame.
The Al Ain marksman added that the playing body has already reviewed their performance as they look into the future.
With Ghana in the reckoning to win the bid to host the 2017 tournament, Asamoah Gyan says he relishes winning the country’s fifth African title with this current team