The Director of Communications for Ghana Football Association Henry Asante Twum has confirmed that the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia will be played in Kenya instead of Addis Ababa. The decision was taken by the Confederation of African Football, CAF, following reports by match commissioners.
“About a week ago we were notified by CAF that the competition department has banned venues for Zimbabwe and Ethiopia based on reports from match commissioners. We were told to stand by. We got notification from Kenya FA that Ethiopia has written to them that they wanted to use their stadium to play the match. The game is not going to take place in Ethiopia. It is now going to take place in Kenya.” He said in an interview with Light FM.
Playing a National team outside its comfort zone has various implications. The new venue turns a neutral center for both the Black Stars of Ghana and the Walias of Ethiopia. Coaches and players will have to be psyched up for the upcoming assignment. None of the two sides could claim an automatic charge of the venue since all will need ample time to train and familiarize with the pitch.
Henry Asante Twum was quick to dispel assertions of an easy win for the Black Stars of Ghana. He believes a good team can win a game regardless of the venue. Black Stars head coach Milovan Rajevac will not be swayed by the change of venue for the crucial encounter.
“It depends on where you sit. If the team is good it does not matter where you play. I know the coach will not take things for granted. Business is for players to win the game and get three points. That is the target.”
It is necessary for the coach to have acknowledged the strength of any opponent that will be faced irrespective of the match center. It takes a good team to easily figure out how to conquer an opponent without having to dwell completely on where the game is taking place. It will only be suicidal for Black Stars if the change in venue from Addis Ababa to Nairobi breeds complacency.
Black Stars of Ghana are in a dire situation where a win against Ethiopia is nonnegotiable, as South Africa - who sit top of Group G - will be hosting the Warriors of Zimbabwe.
To keep up the chase for a play off slot, Milovan Rajevac and his lads are required to overcome Ethiopia in Kenya and aspire for all points against South Africa in Ghana.
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