Asante Kotoko coach Mas-Ud Dramani says he has started gathering information about his first opponent in the next edition of the CAF Champions League.
The Ghanaian giants have been drawn against Liberian champions Barrack Young Controllers in the first preliminary round of the competition.
Kotoko will host BYC in the first leg of the tie on the weekend of 7-9 of February 2014 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
The Ghanaian champions will then travel to Monrovia for the return encounter from 14-16 of the same month.
And coach Dramani says he has already started preparing for the tie by gathering the requisite intelligent information on his opponent.
“I have started planning, taking notes of our opponent before we start actual preparations,” he said.
“For now we want the players to take the much needed rest during this festive season.
“After which we will begin intense preparations when we reconvene for the second half of the season.”
Kotoko fell at the final preliminary hurdle to Algerian side JSM Bejaia in last season’s competition which was eventually win by Al Ahly.
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Sulley Muntari insists he was ‘happy’ at Inter Milan despite being reduced to bench warming duties in the lead up to his exit.
The Ghana midfielder will once more again be lining up against his former side for cross-town rivals AC Milan on Sunday.
The 29-year-old spent four years with the Nerazzurri – where he was part of the side that won the UEFA Champions League in 2010 under Jose Mourinho.
Muntari however left the club in January 2012 to join AC Milan haven been left to rot on the bench for extensive periods.
The Ghana international however insists he was ‘happy’ while at Inter despite falling out of favour with then coaches Claudio Ranieri and Andrea Stramaccioni.
“I was happy at Inter but I’m with Milan now and I have other feelings inside,” he said.
“When I take the pitch on Sunday I’ll give everything for this shirt.”
“We are on the right path and have to continue down this road.”
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Arsenal have reportedly told Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong he can leave following his inability to break into the first team.
The 21-year-old is being offered to English second tier clubs according to the Sun newspaper.
The Ghana international is yet to feature for the Gunners this season.
Frimpong has been left to rot as his peers, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey further their careers at the Emirates.
The ex Fulham loanee is desperate to play with growing fears he could miss a chance to join the Black Stars for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The tough-tackling midfielder is in competition with other world class players for limited spots in the Ghana squad for the World Cup.
Frimpong’s immense presence and activity on social networking sites – especially on Twitter – endears him less to manager Arsene Wenger who was touted him as one to watch in the near future.
Wenger now appears to have run out of patience with the Ghanaian and has reportedly given the green light for his sale which could take place when the January transfer window opens in a few weeks time.
Frimpong has had loan stints with Charlton and Wolves in the past – all aimed towards building him well to take his place in the Arsenal first team – which now appears to be a mirage.
Ghana striker Mahatma Otoo shares his experience after his debut season with Sogndal in the Norwegian top-flight.
The former Ghana Premier League goal king also spoke about his former club Hearts of Oak and on Ghana’s World Cup campaign.
How has the first season been like for you in Norway?
Well, so far so good, I started here in Ghana and during the transfer window I found myself in Norway. People questioned why a club like Sogndal because they think I could have gone to a bigger club but I as a young striker who is still learning, moving straight from Africa to Europe is an opportunity not many players would get because most players go around other countries before ending up in Europe but I have been very fortunate to move straight to Europe.
Would you say you were impressed with what you saw over there?
Yes, I am impressed, what they told me here was exactly what I saw there. They told me they had all the facilities to enable me become a world class player and looking at their facilities, I think it is one of the best in Europe. Their medical facilities, the environment and though they are not in the capital, Oslo, they have very serene environment that enables you to relax after training.
What is the difference between the Norwegian league and that of Ghana?
There is a vast difference, you can’t compare their facilities with those of Africa though in Ghana we have the skill and looking at our league every year you have players moving to Europe which I think is good for Ghana though people criticise them. Over there, they have time for me, the chief scout who came here, Eric Parker, who once played for Leeds United is like my personal trainer who takes me through another training session after every day’s training just to polish my finishing and that in itself should tell you the difference. They have time for African players and they know the potential I have that’s why they came for me.
As a young player in an entirely different environment, what were some of the challenges you encountered?
Initally, they tried me with the reserve team in my first game and I scored a hat-trick and they realised I was above the reserved side so they pushed me to the senior side. In my first game, we lost 1-2 to a very good team called Molde FC, coached by former Manchester United striker, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and after the game he told me he had been scouting me for a long time in Ghana and I could check from Hearts of Oak. He told me I should do well in Sogndal and that everything would be fine because he had seen that I had the potential. The other challenge is the weather, it’s not easy coming from a warm country to play in a very cold country. Norway is very cold throughout the year and even though I went there in summer, it was still cold but it’s all about mental toughness.
You were voted man-of-the-match after your second game how did you feel?
Yes, it was against Viking. We won that game 2-1 and I played very well, I felt very great because going into the game was all about confidence and I knew what I could do and since I was starting in my first game I wanted to do something to prove to the fans that I could play. And in Europe too it is the fans who determine the best player on the day because they have a system where after around the 80th minute of the game fans get a signal on their phones to vote for the best player and in that game, I was substituted in the 85th minute and just as I was coming out they announced the best player of the game and I felt so happy.
Your club narrowly escaped relegation, were you worried by that?
Well, last season they finished in 12th position and this season too they finished in the same position. It’s not a very big club so the challenge is for me to make it big and I know if am able to make it, I will be off that is why I chose that team and if I start getting playing time I know what I can do on the pitch and the coach now has confidence in me and getting to the later part of last season, I started playing regularly and from what I’ve seen, I know from next season I will be the main striker of the team which I know will be positive.
How is the relationship between you and your teammates?
They like my lifestyle and my calm demeanor anytime I go to training, we all crack jokes and after training we just chat and I go my way. And I’m not the type who would go out so everybody in the club writes good things about me.
Since you went there have you been racially abused by either fans or teammates?
No, so far I have not been racially abused or head of any racial abuse in Norway so I don’t think that racism is in Norway. I have even checked for myself but I have not seen any racial abuse, which is a good thing.
What is the future for you as far as Sogndal is concerned?
As an up-and-coming striker, if the playing time starts coming, which I believe will start next season, I am looking forward to scoring a couple of goals to boost my team up and I know when I start scoring goals big clubs will come for me. So that is my main focus now and my prayer is that as I work hard on the pitch, the goals will start flowing and I would move soon. I don’t see myself staying in Norway for a long time.
How many seasons do you hope to stay in Norway?
I actually signed for three years but I want to complete one full season with them and if everything goes on well, I will move.
As the former captain of Accra Hearts of Oak, do you sometimes miss the club?
Hahahaha , I have some good memories with Hearts of Oak so I miss the fans and the love they showed to me both on and off the pitch.
How about your former teammates?
Yea, I miss most of them, the Moro Abubakars, the Thomas Abbeys, yea I miss a couple of them but this is football and you have to focus on your new team.
Who were your closest friends in the team?
Emmanuel Ansong, who was my roommate, Thomas Abbey and when Laryea Kingston was there he advised me a lot, Moro Abubakar and Kofi Abanga too.
How difficult was it to captain a club like Accra Hearts of Oak?
Hehehe, it wasn’t easy, actually it was coach C. K Akonnor who made me the captain of the team. We went for pre-season and he saw that I was working hard both on and off the pitch, and himself a former captain of the Black Stars, saw the potential of a good leader in me so he called me one day and told me about his decision and later informed the board who scrutinised and approved it. My first season as a captain, things were not going on well for the team and people started criticising why a young boy like me would be made the captain when there were older guys around. Others said the club was bigger than me but I knew what I could do on the pitch. And the following season when things changed and I started scoring people were happy I was made the captain.
Were there some players in the team who gave you trouble as the captain?
The likes of Osei Bonsu, Kofi Abanga and some other older ones who were in the team before I joined wouldn’t take it lightly because they thought I was young, moreover they were there before I came so why should the captain be given to me. But with time they realised I was doing the job and it was not about age or the time you joined the team but what you can do on the pitch to make the team win so they later co-oporated with me.
As the captain of the team which of the league fixtures was the most difficult one for you?
Obviously its Kotoko, before the game, you know the tension, the euphoria and media hype which made everybody talk about it, sometime a month before the game and its difficult as a captain.
How do you guys prepare for that game?
We go through our normal training session but the fans take it in a different way, they will troop to fill all our training sessions, cheer us and other people donate all kinds of things just to motivate the players because they need that win against Kotoko.
Since you left do you still follow the progress of the Hearts of Oak?
Yea I do follow them on the internet.
How did you feel when you read Kotoko had beaten Hearts this season?
Hahaha Well I felt bad because I thought we could have won that game here in Accra but I know that in the second round Hearts will also beat Kotoko in Kumasi.
For once did you feel your presence could have made some difference in that game?
Haha, Well I played Kotoko and we’ve won before and similarly I played against Kotoko and we lost so I could have played in that game and Hearts would still have lost so you can’t predict the future but at least if I had played that game I would have given off my best to ensure that we did not lose but one has to move on.
How do you guys feel like any time you lose your match against Kotoko?
Well we feel we’ve let the fans down because they always want a win against Kotoko so you can’t afford to lose therefore anytime we lose you can see the spirit in camp has gone down and it takes some time to recover.
Who is Coach Duncan and how did you feel about his dismissal?
To me coach Duncan is one of the best coaches in Ghana now because he came at the time Hearts of Oak was down but he came to do a few changes and we started playing good football, he changed the style of play and everybody was saying Hearts of Oak is back. The team could now keep possession of the ball and the confidence was back so to me he is one of the best coaches in the country. His relationship with players was excellent though he sometimes shout but I think he is a disciplinarian and he was on the verge of transforming the team again and supporters started filling the stadium again so I was very disappointed he was dismissed but am sure something must have gone wrong somewhere.
Do you think it was a right decision to get rid of him?
I think the board consist of highly experienced persons like Togbe Afede, Neil Amstrong and others who know their work and will take the right decisions to help the club so even though the fans didn’t agree with the decision they took this time I know they took it in the interest of the club. So this shouldn’t bring the supporters down they should rather support the new coach just as they did for coach Duncan so that the team would move forward.
What do you think about the Black Stars opponents in the World Cup draw?
I don’t know why Ghanaians are worried does it mean they don’t have confidence in the Black Stars? In a football match you need to beat the champions to become the champion and Ghanaians want Ghana to win the World Cup, are they telling me they can win the World Cup by playing the likes of Ecuador, Mexico or the less teams we know? Definitely you have to face some of the champions and beat them to become the champions so it has started. We can’t play the small teams in the group stages and face Brazil and Germany in the elimination stages. For the Black Stars when the whistle goes we don’t have any respect for names, nothing like Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi on the field as long as we are all playing 90 minutes we believe we can beat you.
So you don’t share that view that Ghana is in the group of death?
No because you want to win the World Cup and that can be done by beating some of the champions and we are meeting them now which is better for us because if we beat either Portugal or Germany our confidence level will go up and ready to meet the others.
How do you see Ghana’s chances in the World Cup?
As we are talking about Germany and Portugal they are also worried about us, am sure by now their technical teams are taking in notes of how we play and monitoring our players in Europe. They are also aware of the dangers we pose to them so they have started their homework. And looking at the strength of the Black Stars now I think if we come out of the group stages we will be in the finals.
You were not part of the team that played the last game in Egypt were you worried by that?
No because it was my last match in Norway which was a crucial game so I wasn’t thinking about the call up as at that time because my club wasn’t in a very comfortable position.
Did the coach explain to you why he did not invite you?
No Kwasi Appiah is like a father to me when he takes decision is for my best interest and even in the Black Stars team if you look at the consistency you will realize that it is not monopolized by any player. Apart from Asamoah Gyan and Harrison who have been consistent most players go out and come back so I believe when the league starts and banging in the goals I will find myself in the World Cup.
Speaking of Asamoah Gyan what type of a captain is he?
Well I have not played alongside the Abedi Peles, the C.K Akonnors, and the Stephen Appiahs but I have played alongside Gyan and I can say he is one of the best captains in Ghana because he knows when to crack jokes and when to do serious business. He is the type who inspires everybody on the pitch. Before each game he will organise a meeting and talk to everybody and if he needs to talk to any player individually he will do so.
Who will you say is the most entertaining in the Black Stars camp?
Who else but Asamoah Gyan and Samuel Inkoom and sometimes when Dominic Adiyiah is in the team he also crack a lot of jokes, but Gyan and Inkoom are very jovial.
Who is very strict in the team?
Everybody tries to be flexible with everybody even the likes of Isaac Vorsah all tries to joke around so I don’t see anybody as being strict and even with the coaches they all come down to joke with us and when it’s time for business with all become serious.
Finally what is your expectation as far as the Black Star and the World Cup is concern?
As a player I think I’ve gotten to where I am now because I know God guides my steps, I just work hard and leave the rest to God and that is what has brought me this far so I just have to continue working hard and leave the rest to God and if everything goes on well I know I will find myself in Brazil.
Source: Graphic Sports
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Asante Kotoko have confirmed they owe coach Mas-Ud Dramani some months of his salary.
The former national team coach has guided the champions to the top of the Ghana Premier League at the end of the first half of the season.
Dramani is said to be working under very difficult conditions due to the club’s weakened financial status.
It has now emerged the coach has been working for months without being paid his due salaries for the past three months.
But the club in admitting to the allegations of their indebtedness to the coach says steps will be taken by the board to rectify the situation.
“It is true there are some salary arrears to be cleared with the coach but the issue is not as dire as being reported,” Kotoko’s Deputy Public Relations Officier Ali Maradona told Peace FM.
“The board will be meeting in Accra today to review the issues.
“So I am pretty sure the matter will be resolved soon.”
Dramani guided the side to Premier League success in just his first season in the Ghanaian top flight.
He is now tasked with helping the side retain their Premier League title while making significant progress in the CAF Champions League.
Ghana’s Right to Dream Academy is ranked amongst the best football academies in the world alongside Barcelona, Sporting Lisbon, Ajax and Real Madrid.
The Old Akrade-based academy has been responsible for the production of several Ghanaian players with some part of the current Black Stars squad.
Right to Dream are ranked 15th in Bleacher Report’s ranking of the best academies in the world.
Spanish giants Barcelona lead the pack following their impressive production line of players over the years.
The current senior side of Barcelona has almost 70 percent coming from the academy.
Following are the likes of Sporting Lisbon, Sao Paulo, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Dinamo Zagreb in the 2nd to 7th place respectively.
Santos, Partizan Belgrade, Southampton, Real Madrid, Stade Rennes, Feyenoord and Anderlecht in that order.
The rankings of the academies was based on their “production levels in recent years with the focus on clubs who bring players through from an earlier age.”
Founded in 1999 by the then Manchester United scout Tom Vernon, RtD has produced many top footballers for Ghana with five full internationals: King Osei Gyan, Mohammed Abu, Razak Nuhu, David Accam and Abdul Majeed Waris.
Over 15 players from the Academy have signed professional contracts with clubs in Europe and Ghana, 32 other graduates are currently schooling in some major High Schools, Colleges and Universities in the USA.
Ghanaian wunderkind Kwame Yeboah is currently in Germany to complete a medical so he can join Borussia Monchengladbach in the January transfer window.
The 19-year-old striker is one of the promising prospects in the Australian League where he plays for Brisbane Roar.
Brisbane Football Director Ken Stead explained the move in a club press release:
“As a club, we will not stand in the way of opportunities like this for our young players. It’s a great achievement for Brisbane Roar to see so many former players excelling in top leagues overseas and as part of the Socceroos.
“This new environment will allow Kwame to continually improve his game and further his youth and senior national team ambitions in the future.”
Yeboah, who has scored twice this season for Brisbane, has gone back to second fiddle since the return of Besart Berisha.
His first goal of the year was a brilliant 89th minute winner against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford in Week 5.
The first professional league in Ghana kicked off on this day 20 years ago.
On Sunday 19th December, 1993, the Ghana Premier League for the very first time was played where matches were played in six centers across the country.
How professional football in Ghana began
The idea for a professional league in Ghana was first raised by the then Minister of Youth and Sports, E.T Mensah on Wednesday 8th, September, 1993 at the Secaps Hotel in Accra. At a dinner in honour of the national Under 17 team, the Black Starlets for emerging runner-up in the FIFA U17 World Cup in Japan. The Minister lamented on the amateurish way of the organization of football clubs, saying there was the need for clubs to be turned into corporate entities to ensure a more professional way of running them.
The then Ghana FA boss, Nana Brew Butler who had the idea of clubs going commercial complimented the effort of the Minister of Sports, since both parties had similar ideas. The Minister saying the clubs should go professional and the GFA boss wanting clubs to go commercial.
The Winneba declaration
On Thursday 16th September, 1993, the Ministry of Youth and Sports in conjunction with the National Sports Council (NSC), the Ghana Football Association (GFA) organized a three (3) day seminar at the National Sports College, Winneba to expand the idea of having a professional league.
The Youth and Sports Minister in his opening address urged Ghanaian clubs to go professional. He noted that registering clubs as corporate entities will solve several problems for them and ensure a more professional way of dealing with soccer. The function was chaired by Mr. Zac Bentum, a former Ghana Football Association (GFA) boss. Among the topics treated were the incorporation of football clubs under the companies’ code, floating of shares for the clubs, Mr. Ray Whelan, Managing Director of Bobby Charlton enterprise spoke on professionalism, with experience from U.K and Japan, etc
The declaration indicated among other things that clubs shall be incorporated under the 1963 Act (179), with effect from the 1993/94 season. It also said that with effect from the 1993/94 season all first division clubs shall enter into a contractual agreement with their players, to bring them to a professional status. Furthermore it urged first division clubs to register not less than 16 non-amateurish players for the 1993/94 season.
The formation of the Professional/Premier League Board (PLB)
A seven member Professional League Board (PLB), Chaired by Zac Bentum, with Mr. E. Lamptey as vice cum treasurer was formed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in consultation with the GFA headed by Mr. Nana Sam Brew-Butler. The other members were Mr. W.K Agra (Former National Sports Authority Chief Executive), Mr. Kofi Harlley, Registrar- General’s Department, Mr. Joe Aggrey, President of SWAG, Mr. Kojo Quarshie and Major Yaw Larsen both of the league Clubs Association
As an encouragement and capacity building gesture, the Ministry paid 3m old cedis (now GHC 300) to each premier league club to reduce the burden on them in their maiden professional league season.
Match day 1 of Ghana’s first-ever professional league.
Sun Dec 19, 1993
Accra Hearts of Oak 2-0 Accra Great Olympics
Prampram Mighty Royals 0-2 Neoplan Star
Tema Ghapoha 1-2 Afienya United
Okwahu United 2-1 Dawu Youngsters
Obuasi Goldfields SC 2-0 Cape Coast Ebusua Dwarfs
Kumasi Asante Kotoko vs Real Tamale United (RTU)
N/B: Kotoko couldn’t turn up because they failed to raise a team due to reports that their players were still struggling with management over unpaid allowances in their unsuccessful African Champions Cup final against Zamalek of Egypt. RTU were declared technical winners and Kotoko started on a negative points building.
First goal in the premier league: Scored on the 15th minute.
Sun Dec 19, 1993
Mighty Royals 0-2 Neoplan Star
Roland Kwakye for Neoplan Star
Ghapoha 1-2 Afienya
Sam Yeboah for Ghapoha
N/B: Although there should be some seconds to separate, the two quick goals scored on the first day of the premier league, the reports of the match officials didn’t capture them.
Interviews with some of the characters that have contributed to the growth of the Ghana premier league
Interview with Hon. Enoch Teye Mensah (The father of professional league in Ghana)
Hon. Enoch Teye Mensah, M.P for Ningo Prampram, is the longest serving Sports Minister in Ghana (1993 to 2001). I call him the father of professional league in Ghana because he propounded the idea for Ghana league to go professional.
Freeman: Why did you see the need for Ghana league to go professional?
Hon. E.T. Mensah: After travelling to other parts of the world and seeing their football grow because of the professional ways of organizing their leagues, I tasked myself to enable Ghana follow suit.
Also, during the pre-professional era there was a lot of confusion, during player registration. That was the time clubs employed the services of “Macho men”, to kidnap players and register them by false, because there wasn’t any contractual agreements, then. I saw the need for clubs to go professional so that they could sign contract with their players to avoid some of these occurrences. I then urged them to be registered as corporate entities under the company code.
Freeman: How were you able to sell this idea to the clubs?
Hon. E.T. Mensah: I went to all the regions in Ghana to meet club owners and by so doing a greater number of them bought into my vision for Ghana league to go professional.
Freeman: What were some of the obstacles, you faced in ensuring that Ghana league goes professional?
Hon. E.T. Mensah: Some of the club owners during the amateur era didn’t see the need for clubs to be corporate entities and sign contract with their players, but with the help of the Organization of Ghana League Clubs Association (OGLCA) now GHALCA, who invited me as guest of honour in their seminars, we were able to curb that problem.
Also few journalists were hired by some stakeholders in our football to frustrate our effort to go professional. For example even on the day of the Wineba declaration some journalist asked some of our principal speakers for the day, that don’t they think Ghana is not ripened for a professional league. The answer they gave was that Ghana is more than matured for a professional league, since we are the face of African football.
Freeman: Your final words to all football loving fans?
Hon. E.T. Mensah: I am happy that Ghana football has come this far. We should patronize our league to let us reach greater heights.
An interview with Nana Sam Brew Butler, the first GFA Chairman under the Professional league Era
Freeman: What motivated you to support the idea of Ghana football going professional?
Nana Butler: I started the fight for clubs to go commercial, during my tenure as the Chairman of the Organization of Ghana League Clubs Association (OGLCA) now GHALCA. So when I became the GFA Chairman, I decided to implement this ambition of mine and coming across a minister of Sports in the person of Hon. E.T. Mensah, who believed in the need for Ghana league to go professional, the road became clear for us to incorporate these two ideologies since they go hand in hand. I believe in the need for clubs to go commercial, in order to reduce cost and maximize revenue, because of my education in Business Studies and Management Science in the U.K.
Also there were a lot of chaos during the registration of players in the pre-professional era hence, bringing the game into disrepute. For instance players were kidnapped and camped in other to sign for clubs and there was the need to bring sanity into the manner in which registration of players was done
Freeman: What are some of the lows and highs of the Ghana premier league?
Nana Butler: I believe we have made tremendous strides, but I don’t think we’ve got there. In areas such as T.V coverage to market the league to the rest of the world, the organizers have done well with the coming in of SuperSport, but sponsorships are not enough to sustain the clubs, especially they need enough money to buy quality players in the transfer market.
An interview with Mr. Welbeck Abra-Appiah, the chairman of the Premier League Board (PLB) (2005- the longest serving PLB Chairman)
Freeman-What are some of the problems that have hindered the growth of the premier league over the past years?
Mr. Abra-Appiah: Infrastructures in most of the league centres such as inner perimeters stadia, pitches, etc are not in good shape to support a successful professional league.
Also most of the clubs do not comply with the rules and regulations as stipulated in the status of the GFA, for instance deadlines on registration among many other things.
In addition to the above is lack of patronage of matches at the various league centres due to massive patronage of European football in recent times. This takes away some shine out of the league since spectators are key characters in football.
Furthermore, inadequate sponsorships for our league make clubs to struggle financially especially some solely depend on sponsorship money to keep them going.
Freeman: What have been some of the improvements in the premier league over the past years?
Mr. Abra-Appiah: Officiating has vastly improved. Complaints from clubs are gradually reducing and in the near future I think our match officials can do better, but as a human institution mistakes are bound to happen.
Also television coverage in the league has improved, more especially with the coming in of SuperSport.
Freeman: Has the PLB slated down any activities to climax the 20th premier league season
Mr. Abra-Appiah : Plans have been made to celebrate the 20th season anniversary of the Ghana premier league in the second round of the 2013/14 season.
I dedicate this piece of work on the 20th year of Ghana premier league to Mr. Zac Bentum of blessed memories, the first PLB Chairman and former GFA Chairman. May his soul rest in perfect piece
By Thomas Freeman Yeboah, Metro fm and member of the GFA Research and Information Management Committee.
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
FIFA has distributed a total of 800 new Adidas balls to the participating teams at the 2014 World Cup with Ghana set to receive its quota of 25 ahead of the tournament.
Each of the 32 qualified teams for next year’s event to be staged in Brazil is entitled to 25 of the new balls called ‘Brazuca’.
The ‘Brazuca’ is the new official ball manufactured by Adidas to be used at the World Cup.
The balls have been released to all the qualified teams in order for the players to get used to it before the tournament starts on June 12, 2014.
The balls will be used by the qualified teams during their friendly matches in preparation for the tournament which is now a little over six months away to kickoff.
The ‘Brazuca’ was first unveiled a day before the final draw for the World Cup held on December 6 in Bahia.
The new ball is said to have enhanced technical features geared towards making players enjoy playing the game of football.
The ‘Bazuca’ replaces the ‘Jabulani’ used at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Hearts of Oak assistant coach Ben Adjei has threatened legal action against people accusing him of sabotaging Mohammed Polo.
Polo took over from David Duncan who was shockingly dismissed by the club’s board in a decision which has been widely condemned.
The ex Ghana star has endured mixed reactions towards his appointment.
While some are ready to give him the benefit of the doubt to lead the side and prove his mettle, others remain pessimistic of his abilities.
Polo has enjoyed a win, a draw and suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat in his three-match reign of Hearts.
Rumours now gaining grounds is that Polo’s efforts in restoring the side to winning ways are being undermined by his number two who worked closely with his predecessor.
But Adjei has come out to deny these allegations and warned perpetuators of legal action if caught.
“How can anyone come up with such a though of sabotage?” he told Metro FM.
“I have worked with several coaches and none of them have had cause to complain about such a thing.
“This is very shocking because I always devote myself to work under any head coach and do my best for the club.
“These are machinations and thoughts of my detractors but I am not perturbed by their efforts.
“Those who matter in the club now my worth and that for me is paramount.
“If I get to hear these kinds of things from people I will take legal action against them.”
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Goalkeeper Razak Braimah has revealed his move to Cordoba was inspired by his desire to be part of Ghana’s squad for the 2014 World Cup.
The 26-year-old sealed his move to the Spanish second tier side on Tuesday following hours of successful negotiations.
Braimah arrived from rivals Guadalajara on a free transfer after Spanish tax authorities forced for the club to be relegated from Segunda B after filing for bankruptcy.
The giant goalkeeper reveals to Ghana’s leading football website he was desperate for the move to start playing again in order to attract the attention of Ghana’s coach Akwasi Appiah for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
“I am very happy for this move and I want to thank everybody who made it possible for me to come here (Cordoba),” the ex Nania FC goalkeeper told GHANAsoccernet.com moments after he was presented as Cordoba’s latest signing on Wednesday afternoon.
“I am determined to work hard to regain a regular starting place here so that I can get back into the Black Stars team for the World Cup in Brazil.”
Braimah made an impressive debut for the Black Stars in the 2-2 draw with Turkey in an international friendly earlier this year.
He however dropped out of the side following his relative inactive club career.
His move to Cordoba will now help him fight for one of three goalkeeping places in Ghana’s squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Medeama winger Theophilus Anobah has hailed the capture of Michael Helegbe as a significant boost to the team’s chances in the Premier League and the CAF Confederation Cup.
Helegbe sealed a two-year deal with the club from Asante Kotoko some two weeks ago.
The capture of the former Liberty Professionals skipper has thrilled many Medeama fans as his experienced will prove crucial in the second round of the Ghana Premier League and the continental championship.
“Helegbe is a fine player and I’m glad that he has joined us,” Anobah said
“We also have Kofi Agyare from Kotoko and few more who have joined and so I believe we’ll find our rhythm at the right time.
“The capture of Helegbe and the other players are crucial for us. Good players who will bring a lot to the table.”
The Tarkwa-based side lie 6th on the table.