Ghana government supports national football team

Accra, Feb 8 (IANS) Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama has said the government would engage the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to perform a post-mortem on the Black Stars' failure to glitter in the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa.

Speaking at a short ceremony Thursday to mark the transfer of the seat of government from the Castle, Osu, to the renovated Flagstaff House here, Mahama also pledged the government's full support to the GFA in rebuilding the senior national team after their inability to come first in 2013 AFCON, reports Xinhua.

"This government will work with the GFA on a team rebuilding exercise to ensure the Black Stars takes its pride of place in the rankings of African football," he said. He applauded the players and technical handlers for their efforts and resilience in the semifinal game against West African neighbours Burkina Faso Wednesday.

Ghana was highly rated to annex the 29th edition of the AFCON, the biggest sporting event on the continent, to end the country's trophy drought for 31 years. But the Black stars, after finishing fourth in the last edition co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea in 2012, failed to shine and was edged out by a more determined Burkinabe side through the lottery of penalties after a gruelling 120-minute of power-packed football ended 1-1.

Ghana took the lead in the 13th minute from the spot-kick neatly converted by leading marksman Mubarak Wakaso. However, the Stallions, nickname of the Burkina Faso national team, equalised on the hour mark through striker Aristide Bance after Ghana lost possession.

The Black Stars will now meet Mali in the third-place fixture Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

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