Captain Andre Ayew shared a few words with us, ahead of Thursday’s AFCON qualifier against Sudan at the Cape Coast stadium.
The Swansea City forward, last November, led his charges to cruise to a 2-0 win against South Africa in Ghana’s Group C opener. The Black Stars went on to beat Sao Tome and Principe 1-0 in an away fixture to keep hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations alive.
In this interview, Andre Ayew has been discussing player commitment in the midst of COVID-19, preparation for the game, quality of Sudan, and playing in an empty stadium.
Read on for the full transcript:
On player commitment in the midst of Covid-19
We are very proud to be here. I think it’s a big honour to be called up to represent the national team and I am very pleased with the reaction from everyone. We had issues with the last camping with COVID-19. Players who had it, it’s been difficult for some clubs letting their players come and play for us. But I think that we showed that everyone is ready for play for the nation and knows what it means to wear the jersey so I am very happy.
It’s not been the best preparation because we didn’t have the full squad early for the Coach to do whatever he wanted to do from the start. But now the squad is here, we trained well, we are fit, hopefully there are no injuries and we will be ready to go. We are at home and when we are at home, there is only one thing on our mind and that is to get the three points so we are going to do everything possible to make that happen.
On Sudan team dominated by home based players
As Coach (C.K), said, they have been together for a very long time so they were able to build that attitude and spirit. But you know we have some of the experienced players who are back. I believe that the spirit is great. I believe that the players have one goal and if we are on 100%, there is no reason why we will not get the three points and we will make sure that Ghanaians are proud and put one foot in the next AFCON tournament.
On strength of the Black Stars
I think its Unity. We have a lot of big teams in Africa now who are good. From the big names, Senegal, Cameroon, Algeria to the lower names like Sudan etc. Sudan is a team that I have faced before, I think we drew here in a very difficult game Kumasi so I know what Sudan is capable of doing. But we are Ghana. And when you wear the Ghana jersey, you have to deliver, especially at home, so we have a choice. We are going to make sure that we get the three points so that, that Unity and that love between us stays and get even better with time. That is why we want more games, more camping so that we are able to meet each other more and more and create that love between each other.
On playing without fans
Football is a game for the people so football without fans is a big thing because football is made for the fans and we are here to entertain. Even though it’s a very important entertainment, it has objectives ahead but its also something that people love. So, the fact that we don’t have fans difficult, especially at home, when I know what we saw here last year. It was something unbelievable, it was great, I loved playing at this stadium. I was looking ahead to playing here again. But we don’t have to get too sad about it. I think everything has its time. This covid-19, I pray to God that very soon it will be out so that everybody can start his/her normal life, not only football but in everything we do. We are ready!