CAF denies Ghana chance to train on dodgy pitch ahead of Burkina game
CAF has put Ghana at a disadvantage by refusing the Black Stars the opportunity to train on the controversial Mbombela Stadium pitch ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Burkina Faso.
The local organising committee will not allow Ghana to train on the field one day ahead the semi-final match of the Africa Cup of Nations, Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah has revealed.
It is the norm of the Africa Cup of Nations that each country is allowed one training run on the match pitch on the eve of their first appearance at a venue.
But the local organising committee has not allowed any teams to train on the much-criticized field, putting the Black Stars at huge disadvantage as the tournament reaches its climax.
Ghana’s opponents in the semi finals of the Africa Cup of Nations have a huge advantage over the four-time champions in their experience of using the bumpy and sandy pitch in Nelspruit.
Burkina Faso have played all five of their matches in the lead up to the surprise semi-final appearance at the venue, which sit on the outskirts of Nelspruit amid rolling hills.
With the Stallions having the opportunity to play there five times already it was thought giving Ghana the chance to train there would bring some fairness to the semi-final match.
Much of the grass at the Mbombela Stadium’s pitch had been killed by a fungus in the build-up to the tournament after recent heavy rains.
The coating of sand to rectify the situation has left the pitch hard and patchy in a major embarrassment to organisers.
Burkina Faso coach Paul Put has exacerbated Ghana’s worries over the pitch by claiming that his side’s familiarity with the conditions gives them a huge advantage.