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Africa Cup of Nations

Damba: High profile interventions sent strong signals to Black Stars for Afcon ambition

6:47 pm AEST 5/6/19
Ghana team
The former goalkeeper has spoken about the West Africans' quest for a fifth continental title

Former Ghana international Abukari Damba believes the involvement of "high-profile personalities" with the Black Stars is an indication of how badly the nation wants to end their long Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) trophy drought in Egypt.

Ghana President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the biggest personality to have waded into issues of the national team in recent times, the latest being an intervention regarding the team's captaincy.

“There is pressure on the team and there will always be pressure on the team to win," Damba, a member of Ghana's squad at the 1992 Afcon told Class FM.

"For thirty-seven long years, we have been waiting. We want to win the Cup.

"These issues that have come up have really sent some very strong signals to the players, especially with the intervention of certain high profile personalities.

"It simply tells the players how important this [Cup] means to the country as a whole.

"People will not take kindly to anything rather than the ultimate, and they [Black Stars] need to deliver and they must deliver."

In a sensational episode, veteran striker Asamoah Gyan announced his retirement from international duty for being stripped of the captaincy ahead of the tournament but made a U-turn two days later following a plea from Akufo-Addo.

Ghana won the last of their four titles in 1982 and have since made the final on three occasions.

At the upcoming tournament, the Black Stars have been pitted against defending champions Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau in Group F.