Ghana Football Association president Kurt Okraku was full of praise for the Black Galaxies when he met them on Saturday night upon their arrival in the country after they qualified for the 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) at the expense of Nigeria.
The Black Galaxies arrived in Abuja with a 2-0 lead, but the Nigerians equalised and forced a shootout, which Ghana won 5-4 at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.
It is the same venue where the Black Stars earned an important 1-1 draw against the Super Eagles earlier this year to qualify for the 2022 World Cup via the away goals rule, following a goalless draw in Kumasi.
The Black Galaxies flew out of Nigeria the same day and arrived late at night, but they were greeted by Okraku, who congratulated them on their “valuable” achievement.
“I am here to thank and congratulate you. Before you travelled we had a lengthy conversation and indeed you’ve gone to Abuja to make the nation proud.
“My mission here tonight is to express the gratitude of the GFA and the nation to each one of you for the honour done to our dear country. You went in there to seek qualification and no matter the challenges you were able to qualify,” Okraku told the team at the Airforce base.
He emphasised the importance of securing qualification, especially given Ghana’s absence from the CHAN competition since 2014.
“This achievement is valuable because previously we’ve made two or three attempts but we couldn’t make it and you guys have done it.”
“I want to thank coach Annor Walker for this achievement. I remember the day we gave him this job I promised him that he has the confidence of the FA. Today he and his assistants have vindicated us for the confidence we had in them”, he added.
The tournament will take place in Algeria from January 8 to February 5, 2023.
Ghana have finished second twice since the competition began in 2009.