Ghana Football Association president Kurt Okraku has urged the Black Satellites to beat Burkina Faso in order to secure qualification to the semifinal of the WAFU B championship.
Okraku, who is also head of WAFU Zone B, made these remarks when he visited players and officials of the team at their camp base in Niamey ahead of their final group match against Burkina Faso on Saturday.
He was in the company of the leadership of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the tournament when they visited the team on Thursday.
The reigning WAFU B Champions had a difficult start to the tournament after losing their first game against Nigeria.
The Black Satellites were beaten 2-0 by the Nigerians at the GSK Stadium last weekend.
“We are on a visitation tour to all seven nations that are playing in the WAFU tournament. We’ve been to Benin, Togo, Niger and it’s your turn to receive us,” Okraku told players and officials of the Ghana team at their team hotel on Thursday.
“As defending champions of this tournament, I am sure you came to defend your title. You’ve played one game already which didn’t go well but you have the chance to play another game on Saturday.
“On behalf of the WAFU Executive Committee I wish you well. I hope you make yourselves and your country proud. Anytime you go on the pitch remember that You are one of the chosen few who are here to make your countries proud.
“You must not take this opportunity for granted. There are thousands and more who could have been here but you are the chosen few. WAFU will continue to offer young players the opportunities and platform to excel. We will continue to give such platforms to make yourselves and your country proud.
“Ghana is a good football nation and as defending champions everybody is looking up to the performance of this team. That’s why it’s important that the next time you get the opportunity to show your quality, you just really show your quality.
“As defending champions WAFU B will want to see you go far. On behalf of the Executive Committee, I wish you well and I wish that you enjoy your game. Whenever you put on your boots give off 100 million percent performances. It’s a platform that you can’t take for granted because it can determine who you become in your career
“Again, I wish you well and the best of luck and May the better team win. As I Ghanaian, I want you to win so go and win.”
Ghana will play Burkina Faso on Saturday and must avoid a defeat or draw to progress to the semifinals of the competition.
The leader of the Ghana delegation at the WAFU U20 Championship, Randy Abbey, assured the WAFU and LOC that the Black Satellites will raise their game when they face Burkina Faso on Saturday.
“On behalf of the Management, technical team and players we would like to express our profound gratitude for the visit. We know this visit is not restricted to us alone but also to the other six participating teams in this competition,” Abbey said.
“It is important to check up on the teams and to encourage the players and remind them of the platform that has been offered to them to hone their talents for themselves and their countries.
“Yes, our first game didn’t go as we wanted but fortunately yesterday’s result puts our destiny in our own hands. We expect to pull out a performance on Saturday as defending champions and continue to compete and make our country proud.
“We thank you once again for your visit and we are encouraged by your words and we hope that we will lift high the flag of our country on Saturday.
The 2022 WAFU B U20 Championship is currently taking place in Niger with all the seven countries in the zone taking part.
The competition started in Niamey on 7th May and will end on 20th May.
The top two sides in the tournament will qualify for the next U20 AFCON tournament that will take place in Egypt from February 18, 2023 to March 12, 2023.
the top four teams from the championship will qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup held in Indonesia later in that same year.