The Minister of Youth and Sports has reacted positively to the Black Stars World Cup fixture against the Pharaohs of Egypt, to be played on Tuesday 15th October 2013 at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.
Following the official draw by FIFA, some sports commentators have raised fears about the opposition.
But Hon Elvis Afryie Ankrah sees the match up differently. ”We must respect Egypt but not fear them at all so the talk should be about preparing to beat them both home and away and not how to avoid them”
Making reference to the 2-1 victory over Zambia in Kumasi, the Sports Minister said preparations will start immediately on all fronts to ensure that the level of support offered the Black Stars is not only repeated but notched up to maximum.
”The unity and love displayed by Ghanaians before, during and after the Zambia game was tremendous and the players are bent on reciprocating that support with World Cup qualification”
He dismissed fears that the second leg in Cairo would be a huge advantage to the North Africans ” Egypt should be worried about coming here to play and not the other way round. We have to believe in our team, the coach and the technical staff to deliver because we fear no foe”
In other potentially explosive fixtures, Ivory Coast host Senegal in an all-West African Franco-phone clash where the Elephants face the Lions. North African giants Tunisia will play comeback team Cameroon at home, whilst Burkina Faso host Algeria.
Perhaps the most intriguing fixture of the draw is the encounter between Ethiopia and Nigeria. On paper, it looks like a straight forward tie for the African Champions who travel to Addis Ababa on Saturday 12th October. However, the Ethiopians have shown a tenacity to mix it up with the big boys and would not be intimidated by the Super Eagles.
In the case of Ghana, there has been overwhelming lobbying for the crucial match to be played in Kumasi purely on the grounds that the city, the venue and total support accorded the Black Stars cannot be matched by any other venue. However, FA President Kwesi Nyantakyi has indicated that the GFA will confirm the venue of the home leg after the draw.