Ghana president backs soccer team to fight back

Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills has assured players and handlers of the national football team, the Black Stars, that the government would support them to regain their enviable position on the world football scene.

Addressing parliament here Thursday, President Mills said though the team did not lift the just-ended African Nations Cup as anticipated, he found solace in the fact that Ghana lost the semi-final encounter to Zambia, who were the eventual winners of the competition.

He, however, suggested the team to concentrate especially on penalty kicks which had been the bane of the country at major contests, Xinhua reports.

He praised the nation's sportspersons for their achievements in 2011 that had put the country on a high pedestal.

At the 10th All Africa Games held in Maputo, Mozambique, last September, Ghana put up the best performance ever by winning 19 medals.

The national under-23 men's football team and their Under-20 women's counterparts won gold and silver respectively at the Games.

Ghana were favourites to win the Nations Cup co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea but came fourth after losing the third place match to West African neighbours Mali.

Ghana moved up three places on the February edition of the FIFA world rankings to occupy the 23rd position from last month's 26th.

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