Afcon: Ghana's 1978 winner Polo urges team to rise above recent controversies for continental success

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The ex-Black Stars playmaker speaks on the current side's preparations for the continental showpiece in Egypt

Former Ghana international Mohammed Polo says the Black Stars will not be forgiven should they allow off-pitch issues to disrupt their focus of winning the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The Black Stars are one of 24 teams vying to claim gold at the June 21-July 19 championship, where they will face Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau in the group stage.

The team's departure for a pre-tournament camp in the United Arab Emirates was heralded by a captaincy dispute, which prompted an intervention by Ghana president Nana Akufo-Addo.

"In a human institution, things like this will happen and it has been resolved, that is what the president has done," Polo, a member of Ghana's 1978 Afcon-winning side, told Nhyira FM.

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"For the sake of mother Ghana, they have to resolve it [internal issues] amicably and go out there as a team because they need to do everything possible to win.

"If they don’t do that [win], mother Ghana will not forgive them."

Veteran striker Asamoah Gyan sensationally retired from international duty over being stripped of the captaincy but rescinded his decision two days later following a plea by Akufo-Addo.

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The armband was then officially handed to Fenerbahce attacker Andre Ayew, who will be assisted by Inter Milan ace Kwadwo Asamoah, while Gyan has been moved on to the more advisory 'General Captain' role.

Ghana, currently in a training camp in the United Arab Emirates, will open their continental campaign against Benin on June 25, face Cameroon on June 29 and wrap up their group phase against Guinea-Bissau on July 2.

The team are set to play Namibia and South Africa as part of preparations for the Afcon finals.