Appiah: Ghana not under pressure to win 2019 AFCO

Author: Samuel Amoesi
Stephen Appiah

A member of the Black Stars technical team, Stephen Appiah, says the team is not under pressure to win the upcoming 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt though it is their main objective.

Appiah, who captained the team at the 2006 AFCON in Egypt where Ghana made a disappointing first round exit, said he saw the task of winning the prestigious trophy for the fifth time as a difficult one.

“Our goal is to win the AFCON. We are not under pressure though. Personally, since my playing days, I usually don’t get under pressure. I have being under pressure only twice, that is the game against Burkina Faso in Kumasi and another was against Cape Verde,” Appiah said on the sidelines of the launch in Accra last Friday of this year’s MILO U-13 Championship.

“I realised that when I was playing, I just wore the jersey and went and played, but now that I am part of the technical team I see it to be difficult, the feeling is not the same,” he noted.

However, he asserted that it was their duty [as technical handlers] to encourage the players to work hard for glory.
“We will try and advise and encourage the players to do their best,” he added.

Coach Kwasi Appiah, a member of the national team which won Ghana’s fourth and last African title in Libya in 1982, now faces a challenging task of leading the team to end Ghana’s 37-year continental drought in Egypt.

His previous attempt as national coach saw Ghana in fourth position at the 2013 AFCON in South Africa.
Ghana has been placed in Group F with defending champions Cameroun, Benin, Guinea-Bissau in the 2019 AFCON which runs from June 21 to July 19.