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The four-time Africa champions have been tasked by the president to bring the continental title home as they leave to UAE for pre-tournament camping

Ghana’s president John Dramani Mahama is optimistic the Black Stars will win the ultimate prize in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament to be held in South Africa.

The 26-man squad paid a visit to the presidency ahead of their departure to the United Arab Emirates for pre-tournament camping ahead of the 2013 Afcon which kicks off January 19.

Pundits have once again tipped the four-time African champions as one of the favourites to win the title, despite their failure to deliver the trophy in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea last year.

Speaking at a brief ceremony at the Castle – the seat of government - where the team had gone to bid goodbye ahead of their trip to Abu Dhabi, president Mahama said he believes the playing field this time around is level so he has, however, charged the playing body to bring the trophy home.

“We have come so close to lifting the cup on several occasions,” the president told the team. “It is our hope that our time is coming and I am very sure it will be this year. Zambia won the cup last year because it was designed by God due to the fact that they lost their entire squad within that region some years ago.”

“This time around the playing field is level and I am very sure we will win the cup this time around.”

The Black Stars, who last won the title in about 31 years, are in group D alongside Mali, Niger and DR Congo.