Ghana Coach Downplays ‘Danger’ Of His World Cup Reshuffle

Ghana’s players pose prior to the international friendly football match between Brazil and Ghana at The Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, northern France on September 23, 2022. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

 

 

Ghana coach Otto Addo acknowledged the “danger” of integrating a number of new players into the squad ahead of the World Cup, but he does not believe it will have a destabilising effect.

Addo, who took charge in February after Ghana’s disastrous Africa Cup of Nations campaign, handed debuts to Inaki Williams, Tariq Lamptey and Mohammed Salisu in Friday’s 3-0 friendly loss to Brazil.

The 28-year-old Williams won one cap for Spain in 2016 and Lamptey, 21, played regularly for England’s youth teams before opting to switch allegiance.

German-born Addo, who played for Ghana at the 2006 World Cup, has also called up Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer and Stephan Ambrosius, both capped by Germany at under-21 level.

“It’s always a danger to get new players, especially if the players who are there before achieve something really, really good,” said Addo, who oversaw the World Cup play-off win over Nigeria in March.

“There’s a group dynamic which I don’t want to break, but I think from what I saw they were welcomed well.

“They did well in training and get along with each other and it’s not like they were strangers. Before some knew each other from playing in the same league and everything is okay.”

Addo believes adding European-born members of the diaspora will increase competition for places and benefit the Black Stars.

“It’s a good situation. We have pressure from the bench because new people are there who are very, very solid in Europe, and we have players on the pitch who have to prove themselves,” he said.

Addo admitted to being “very unhappy” with the nature of his team’s defending at set-pieces, but insisted the loss to Brazil would provide a useful learning opportunity before heading to Qatar.

 

Ghana’s headcoach Otto Addo (R) reacts during the international friendly football match between Brazil and Ghana at The Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, northern France on September 23, 2022. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

 

– ‘Team was bad’ –
Brazil, the world’s top-ranked side, tore Ghana apart in a dominant first half in Le Havre, with Richarlison striking twice after Marquinhos headed in the opener.

The second of Richarlison’s goals came from a Neymar free-kick, with the Tottenham Hotspur forward nodding in at the near post.

“In all, the team was bad, if you lose 3-0 you’re bad,” Addo said after Ghana suffered their fifth defeat in as many meetings with Brazil.

“I was very disappointed, especially with the set-pieces. They had a lot of chances. We were a bit lucky in some situations they didn’t score.”

But he bristled at the suggestion the four-time African champions were not ready to compete at the World Cup.

“If you see how many times they (Brazil) have scored three or four goals, then nobody’s ready,” said Addo.

“It’s not like we were playing against some small boys. They’re really, really good.”

At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, no African team made it to the knockout phase for the first time in 36 years.

Ghana, who were a missed Asamoah Gyan penalty away from reaching the last four in 2010, have one final tune-up game against Nicaragua on Tuesday before Addo must finalise his World Cup plans.

“We lost 3-0 so everybody probably thinks this is a weak team. This is maybe an advantage for us,” he said.

“Everything brings something good if you learn from it. I hope that I learnt myself. Maybe I have to do some things differently. If everybody thinks like that then we’ll do better. I’m not concerned at all.”

“I made some mistakes, I will learn from them and can hopefully improve,” he added.

“The second half showed we can compete with them.”

Ghana play Portugal in their opening match at the World Cup on November 24. They have also been drawn alongside Uruguay and South Korea in Group H.

Brazil Masterclass Condemn Ghana To 3-0 Defeat

Brazil’s forward Richarlison (R) talks with Brazil’s defender Thiago Silva (L) during the friendly football match between Brazil and Ghana at the Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, northwestern France on September 23, 2022. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

 

Richarlison struck twice as Brazil showcased their World Cup credentials by putting on an attacking masterclass in a 3-0 victory over Ghana in Friday’s friendly in Le Havre.

Marquinhos headed Brazil in front from a corner and Richarlison doubled the lead before the half-hour. The Tottenham Hotspur striker nodded in a third on 40 minutes.

Unbeaten throughout World Cup qualifying, Brazil’s only competitive loss since going out to Belgium in the 2018 quarter-finals in Russia came against Argentina in last year’s Copa America final.

Brazil coach Tite fielded a strong, attack-minded side that could well start their opening game of the World Cup against Serbia in Lusail on November 24.

Ghana lost Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey to injury in the warm-up, on what was a challenging night for the Black Stars.

Five-time world champions Brazil hit their stride right away, Neymar unhindered by the small cut during Wednesday’s training session that required minor treatment.

In red-hot form to start the season with Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar quickly began to threaten down the left in tandem with Vinicius Junior.

Richarlison blazed over from Lucas Paqueta’s cutback, the new West Ham signing also fizzing a shot just past the post.

Brazil were soon in front though as Marquinhos powered in from Raphinha’s inswinging corner in the ninth minute.

Raphinha should have scored himself when Vinicius’ audacious cross with the outside of his right boot picked the Barcelona man out at the far post.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles’ Goal Is To Win Next AFCON, Says Peseiro

Neymar runs the show 


Brazil’s forward Neymar (R) controls the ball during the friendly football match between Brazil and Ghana at the Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, northwestern France on September 23, 2022. (Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

 

Neymar created Brazil’s second goal, allowing Thiago Silva’s pass to run beyond him before rolling it towards Richarlison, who swept a first-time shot low into the corner of Joseph Wollacott’s goal.

The PSG star was again the provider as Brazil increased their advantage, whipping in a free-kick that Richarlison glanced home at the near post.

Ghana barely avoided conceding a fourth before the break when Neymar teed up Paqueta, whose effort was saved by Wollacott before Raphinha’s follow-up was blocked.

Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams, who won one cap for Spain in 2016, and Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu came on for their Ghana debuts at half-time.

Bremer, the centre-back who joined Juventus from Torino in July, made his first Brazil appearance, replacing Thiago Silva.

Andre Ayew’s header clipped the bar on the hour as Ghana finally tested Brazil, whose rhythm slowed as Tite turned to his bench with the introduction of Antony and Matheus Cunha.

Former England Under-21 international Tariq Lamptey, another of Ghana’s new recruits, got his first minutes for the four-time African champions as Otto Addo emptied his bench.

Neymar nearly capped off another sparkling performance with a goal of his own, but shot weakly at Wollacott after a mesmerising run.

Atletico Madrid’s Cunha was denied a first Brazil goal in the closing minutes by a desperation goalline block after Wollacott parried Rodrygo’s attempt.

Brazil take on Tunisia in their final pre-World Cup tune-up at the Parc des Princes in Paris on Tuesday, while Ghana head to Spain to face Nicaragua.

Elsewhere, Cyle Larin and Jonathan David were on target as Canada beat World Cup hosts Qatar 2-0 in Vienna.

Mehdi Taremi got the only goal as Iran beat Uruguay 1-0 while Saudi Arabia drew 0-0 with Ecuador.

AFP

Nigeria, South Africa Miss Out On CHAN Finals In Algeria

The Super Eagles Team B. [email protected]

 

Nigeria and South Africa will be notable absentees from the African Nations Championship after qualifying for the 2022 finals in Algeria concluded on Sunday.

Ghana pipped arch-rivals Nigeria on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate draw, while South Africa slumped to a 4-1 loss at home to Angola, who triumphed 6-1 overall.

Leading nations who will be at the seventh edition of the tournament reserved for home-based stars include Senegal, title-holders Morocco, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast.

Trailing 2-0 after the first leg, Nigeria staged a late rally in Abuja to win the return match 2-0 through goals from Zulkifilu Rabiu and Chijioke Akuneto, from an added-time penalty.

Ghana converted all five spot-kicks in the shootout while Maurice Ugochukwu missed to eliminate 2018 runners-up Nigeria.

The dramatic victory took two-time beaten finalists Ghana back to the finals after failing to qualify for the last three editions.

Although Nigeria boast one of the stronger national leagues in Africa, they have reached the finals only three times, with their qualifying failures including a stunning 2020 loss to Togo.

In Soweto, South Africa got off to a great start with Prince Nxumalo halving the aggregate deficit by nodding home a free-kick just six minutes into the first half.

Disaster Strikes

But disaster struck for the home side on 39 minutes when an attempted headed clearance by Mosa Lebusa looped over goalkeeper Reyaad Pieterse into his own net.

It left South Africa needing to score three unanswered goals to survive with a team sorely weakened by the absence of stars on club duty.

Angola grew stronger as the second half progressed with Jaredi Teixeira a constant menace on the left wing.

He set up the second and fourth goals for Deivi Viera and Daniel Kilola, and Joaquim Paciencia netted the third with a free-kick that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

Cameroon, fourth when they hosted the 2020 tournament, netted twice late in the opening half to beat Equatorial Guinea 2-0 and squeeze through having lost 1-0 away.

Djawal Kaiba broke the deadlock on 43 minutes in the northwestern city of Garoua and Souaaibou Marou snatched what proved the crucial goal in stoppage time.

There was an even closer call for the Ivory Coast, who beat Burkina Faso on penalties after both legs finished 0-0.

Indian Ocean nation Madagascar will be the only tournament debutants — despite being held 1-1 by Botswana in Antananarivo they progressed 2-1 on aggregate.

FIFA classify Nations Championship matches as full internationals and the results count toward its world rankings.

AFP

Algeria 2023: Ghana Clip Super Eagles Team B Wings In CHAN Qualifier

The Super Eagles Team B now have an uphill task in the second leg next weekend. [email protected]

 

Ghana’s Black Galaxies shot into the driving seat in their 7th African Nations Championship final qualifying fixture against Nigeria after a 2-0 win over Super Eagles B at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Sunday evening.

After an evenly-balanced first period, during which goalkeeper Adeyinka Adewale quickly redeemed himself after dropping the ball with a Ghanaian forward lurking, Daniel Barnieh shot the Galaxies ahead in the 50th minute from the penalty spot as Beninoise referee Issa Mouhamed punished a Nigerian infringement in the eighteen-yard box.

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The Super Eagles fought valiantly to get even as the game wore on, to no avail, and were then open to a sucker punch as Seidu Suraj unleashed a shot from close range that Adewale could only punch into his own net with four minutes left.

The result leaves the Super Eagles B with some work to do ahead of the return leg, as both teams square off again at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Saturday evening.

NCDC On High Alert After Confirmation Of Marburg Virus In Ghana

Margus outbreaks are often associated with exposure to colonies of Rousettus bats (Photo: YASSER AL-ZAYYAT AFP)

 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) says it is on a high alert after Marburg Virus was detected in Ghana.

NCDC Director-General Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said this in a statement on Tuesday.

The outbreak in Ghana was confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday and represents the second time the virus will be detected in West Africa. It had been detected in Guinea in August 2021.

READ ALSO: Ghana Reports Two Suspected Cases Of Marburg Virus

Two unrelated males aged 26 and 51 in Ghana were confirmed have been infected by the virus which causes a rare, highly infectious disease and severe haemorrhagic fever (MVD) in humans and non-human primates just like the Ebola virus. Both men died from the disease. There is currently no cure for the virus.

“Given the proximity of Ghana to Nigeria as well as the WHO alert, the NCDC-led multisectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases Working Group (EVHDWG) that coordinates preparedness efforts for MVD, and other emerging viral haemorrhagic diseases has conducted a rapid risk assessment to guide in-country preparedness activities,” NCDC Director-General, Dr Adetifa, said in the statement.

“Based on available data, the overall risk of both importation of the disease and its potential impact on the Nigerian population is said to be moderate as assessed by NCDC experts and partners given the following: the proximity (same region), high traffic from Ghana and countries that share borders with Ghana, the incubation period of 21 days of the virus, heightened surveillance at point of entry, Nigeria’s capacity to respond to the outbreak in the country and the fact that persons with MVD transmit the virus when they become symptomatic unlike for SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 that can also be transmitted by infected persons without symptoms.”

According to the NCDC DG, Nigeria has the capacity to test for the disease that was first discovered in 1967 after outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt, Germany.

Testing for the virus can currently be done at the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital laboratory Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology.

Dr Adetifa added, “Diagnostic capacity can be scaled up to other laboratories if required. Nigeria has the resources (human, technical and laboratory) for prompt identification and management in the event of a single imported case.”

Even with the measures in place including increased surveillance by the authorities in neighbouring Benin Republic and Togo, the NCDC boss believes changes may be needed.

“The response situation may change in the coming days with the control efforts in Ghana and advisories as may be issued by the World Health Organisation. In addition, many of the contacts under follow-up in Ghana will soon exit the 21-day quarantine period and so far, there have been no secondary cases reported,” he said.

The NCDC DG urged Nigerians to adhere strictly to preventive the following preventive measures.

  • Avoid non-essential travel to locations where the outbreak is reported for the moment

 

  • Avoid direct contact with blood, saliva, vomit, urine, and other bodily fluids of people with suspected or confirmed Marburg virus disease

 

  • Avoid the animal reservoir (fruit bats), other sick animals.

 

  • Ensure all persons with the symptoms described above are promptly taken to healthcare facilities for diagnosis and initiation of supportive treatment

 

  • In suspected and/or confirmed MVD cases, direct physical contact should be avoided by ensuring strict isolation, the use of protective gowns, masks, gloves and safe disposal of needles, bedding, and other contaminated materials

 

  • Strict practice of infection prevention control in the healthcare setting for all suspected patients.

 

  • Male survivors of Marburg virus disease should practice safer sexual practices and hygiene for 12 months from onset of symptoms or until their semen test negative twice for the virus

 

 

Read the NCDC’s full statement below:

NCDC on High Alert Following Second Incidence of Marburg Virus Disease Detected in West Africa

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) is aware of the declaration of an outbreak of Marburg virus disease (MVD) in Ghana confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the 17th of July 2022. This is the second time this zoonotic disease has been detected in West Africa following the previous incidence in Guinea in August 2021. The cases were reported in two unrelated males – 26 and a 51 years old – who both died from the disease. The disease was first discovered in 1967 following outbreaks in Marburg and Frankfurt in Germany, and Belgrade, Serbia. Since then, outbreaks and sporadic cases have been reported in some African countries.

Ghanaian public health officials are responding with support from WHO to halt the spread of the disease. Given the proximity of Ghana to Nigeria as well as the WHO alert, the NCDC-led multisectoral National Emerging Viral Haemorrhagic Diseases Working Group (EVHDWG) that coordinates preparedness efforts for MVD, and other emerging viral haemorrhagic diseases has conducted a rapid risk assessment to guide in-country preparedness activities.

Based on available data, the overall risk of both importation of the disease and its potential impact on the Nigerian population is said to be Moderate as assessed by NCDC experts and partners given the following: the proximity (same region), high traffic from Ghana and countries that share borders with Ghana, the incubation period of 21 days of the virus, heightened surveillance at point of entry, Nigeria’s capacity to respond to the outbreak in country and the fact that persons with MVD transmit the virus when they become symptomatic unlike for SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 that can also be transmitted by infected persons without symptoms.

Nigeria has the capacity to test for the virus presently at the National Reference Laboratory in Abuja and the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital laboratory Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology. Diagnostic capacity can be scaled up to other laboratories if required. Nigeria has the resources (human, technical and laboratory) for prompt identification and management in the event of a single imported case.

However, the risk of importation may be further reduced as the current situation in Ghana is under control as reported by Ghana Health Service. Active case finding is ongoing in Ghana while there is heightened surveillance in Togo and Benin. Therefore, the response situation may change in the coming days with the control efforts in Ghana and advisories as may be issued by the World Health Organisation. In addition, many of the contacts under follow-up in Ghana will soon exit the 21-day quarantine period and so far, there have been no secondary cases reported.

Currently, no case of Marburg virus disease has been reported in Nigeria. However, several measures are being put in place to prevent an outbreak of the disease in-country. The National Reference Laboratory has the capacity to test for MVD, point of entry surveillance has been heightened, trained rapid response teams are on standby to be deployed in the event of an outbreak and the NCDC’s Incident Coordination Centre (ICC) is in alert mode. The NCDC is also amplifying risk communication efforts and continues to work with States and partners to strengthen preparedness activities which include– review of risk communication protocols, plans and messages in the event of an outbreak.

About Marburg Virus Disease (MVD)

The Marburg virus causes a rare, highly infectious disease and severe haemorrhagic fever (MVD) in humans and non-human primates just like the Ebola virus, its closest relation and only other member of the Filoviridae family of viruses. It is another example of a zoonosis such as Lassa fever, etc. The natural animal reservoir/host are fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus). Following the transmission from infected animals to humans, it spreads in humans through direct contact with the bodily fluids of infected people, and contaminated materials and surfaces. The virus can enter the body through broken skin or mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The initial symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever (Temp ≥37.5OC), chills, headache, body aches which may be accompanied by a rash, most prominent on the chest, back and stomach, nausea/vomiting, chest pain, sore throat, abdominal pain by the fifth day of illness. Increase in severity of illness can be heralded by the appearance of severe watery diarrhoea, jaundice, inflammation of the pancreas, severe weight loss, bleeding from multiple areas, delirium, shock, liver failure, massive haemorrhaging, and multi-organ dysfunction and/or failure. In fatal cases, death occurs often between 8 and 9 days after symptom onset. The case fatality rate for MVD is estimated to be 24% to 88%.

The Marburg virus is known to persist in the body – placenta, amniotic fluid, foetus of infected pregnant women, breast milk of women who were infected while breastfeeding and semen – of persons who have recovered from MVD.

Nigerians are urged to adhere strictly to the following preventive measures

  • Avoid non-essential travel to locations where the outbreak is reported for the moment.
  • Avoid direct contact with blood, saliva, vomit, urine, and other bodily fluids of people with suspected or confirmed Marburg virus disease.
  • Avoid the animal reservoir (fruit bats), other sick animals.
  • Ensure all persons with the symptoms described above are promptly taken to healthcare facilities for diagnosis and initiation of supportive treatment/
  • In suspected and/or confirmed MVD cases, direct physical contact should be avoided by ensuring strict isolation, the use of protective gowns, masks, gloves and safe disposal of needles, bedding, and other contaminated materials.
  • Strict practice of infection prevention control in the healthcare setting for all suspected patients.
  • Male survivors of Marburg virus disease should practice safer sexual practices and hygiene for 12 months from onset of symptoms or until their semen test negative twice for the virus.

Infections have been recorded in health facilities and in healthcare workers while looking after patients with suspected or confirmed MVD. This is mostly due to poor adherence to infection prevention and control (IPC) measures. Therefore, healthcare workers are urged to maintain a high index of suspicion for the disease and always observe standard precautions.

There is currently no treatment or vaccine for MVD, however, infected persons can benefit from supportive care and treatment of specific symptoms which improve the chances of survival. Early detection and treatment improve prognosis. Anyone who travels to a location where an outbreak has been reported or had contact with a confirmed case or sick individual of unknown source of illness should observe self-isolation for 21 days and call the NCDC hotline (6232) immediately if symptomatic.

For further information on Marburg virus disease, visit the NCDC website via – https://ncdc.gov.ng/diseases/info/M.

Signed:

Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa

Director General

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

Ghana Reports Two Suspected Cases Of Marburg Virus

Margus outbreaks are often associated with exposure to colonies of Rousettus bats (Photo: YASSER AL-ZAYYAT AFP)

 

 

Ghana has reported two suspected cases of the Marburg virus, which belongs to the same family as Ebola, in the country’s southern Ashanti region, health authorities said on Friday.

No treatment or vaccine exists for Marburg, which is somewhat less deadly than Ebola, with symptoms including high fever and internal and external bleeding.

Preliminary findings from blood samples for the two cases suggest Marburg virus and the samples have been sent to the Institut Pasteur de Dakar research centre in Senegal for confirmation, Ghana Health Service said.

“No new cases have been reported since the two samples were taken two weeks ago,” it said in a statement.

Another 34 people who had contact with the cases have been identified and are currently in quarantine, it said.

The World Health Organisation said if confirmed it would be the first case of Marburg in Ghana.

“Preparations for a possible outbreak response are being set up swiftly as further investigations are underway,” it said.

The WHO said Guinea confirmed a single case in an outbreak that was declared over in September 2021.

Previous outbreaks and sporadic cases of Marburg in Africa have been reported in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Uganda, WHO said.

IMF Sending Team To Ghana To Start Aid Talks

This file photo taken on January 26, 2022, shows the seal for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC. OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP

 

The IMF will send a team to Ghana this week to begin talks on a possible loan program for the West African nation, the fund announced Tuesday.

The nation’s President Nana Akufo-Addo had previously rejected calls to seek financial assistance from the IMF, but last week authorized the step as the country faces soaring inflation.

“On the basis of a request from the Ghanaian authorities, an IMF staff team will in the coming days kick-start discussions on a possible program to support Ghana’s homegrown economic policies,” Carlo Sdralevich, IMF mission chief for Ghana, said in a statement.

“We are at an early stage in the process, given that detailed discussions are yet to take place,” Sdralevich said.

He will lead the International Monetary Fund staff team visit to Accra July 6-13.

The announcement came followed two days of protests in the capital over the rising cost of food and fuel, after the country was hit with inflation of more than 27 percent in May — the highest in almost two decades.

Brawls have erupted in the hung parliament as the government tries to push tough policies it believes could salvage the economy.

Data from Ghana’s central bank indicates the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio was 80.1 percent at the end of last year, and fuel prices have shot up as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The IMF stands ready to assist Ghana to restore macroeconomic stability, safeguard debt sustainability, and promote inclusive and sustainable growth, and address the impact of the war in Ukraine and the lingering pandemic,” said Sdralevich.

Osinbajo Goes To Ghana For ECOWAS Summit

File photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo boarding an aircraft.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has travelled to Ghana for the 61st Ordinary Session of the Authority of the  ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, which is scheduled to hold on Sunday.

Professor Osinbajo left Nigeria on Saturday for Accra where he will be standing in for President Muhammadu Buhari at the summit.

His spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, said in a statement that the VP will join other leaders to deliberate and take decisions on political, security, and humanitarian issues among others regarding the sub-region.

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The regional bloc will also review the situations in Mali, Guinea, and Burkina Faso, particularly towards restoring democratic rule.

“At the summit tomorrow, the Mediation and Security Council of ECOWAS will update leaders on political developments in the region and in the Sahel region,” the statement added.

The Council will also provide updates on the issues of insecurity, challenges relating to youth unemployment, and the impact of diseases and pandemics on social tensions in the region.

On the sidelines of the summit, Professor Osinbajo will also attend a meeting of the five West African countries involved with “The Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project”, a flagship project of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).

The project connects the capitals of five West African states (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria) and stretches for approximately 1,028 km.

The Vice President will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Zubairu Dada and some other members of the Federal Executive Council.

He is expected back in Abuja later on Sunday.

Ghana Police Fire Tear Gas To Disperse Protest Over Living Costs

 

 

Ghana police fired tear gas and arrested more than two dozen protesters in the capital Accra on Tuesday after a demonstration over soaring living costs turned violent.

The West African nation, reeling from a pandemic-spurred economic slump and hammered by the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, has seen inflation surge to more than 27 percent this month — the highest level in almost two decades.

President Nana Akufo-Addo is under increasing pressure to address the higher cost of food and fuel.

Clad in red and black, hundreds of protesters gathered in Accra, chanting songs and holding placards that read “We’re suffering Akufo-Addo” and “The high cost of living will kill us”.

“We can’t afford three meals a day. Transport fares and food prices are too high,” protester Baba Musah, who repairs mobile phones for a living, told AFP. “We are suffering.”

Trader Rita Okyere also took aim at Akufo-Addo, demanding “change”.

“This government has run out of ideas. We can’t continue to suffer as Nana Addo flies in luxurious jets across the world.”

The protest started peacefully at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, but a stand-off with authorities resulted in a clash when protesters pelted police with objects.

Security officers retaliated by firing tear gas, according to AFP journalists at the scene.

Police said in a statement that 12 officers were injured, police vehicles were damaged, and that they had “no option but to use tear gas and water cannons to subdue the rioting and restore order”.

They later confirmed that 29 protesters had been arrested “for their participation in violent attacks on the Police”.

The protest was organised by pressure group Arise Ghana, and joined by politicians such as prominent opposition MP Sam George.

“Before Akufo-Addo became president, I used to buy bread for my children at 3.50 Ghanaian cedi ($0.45),” he told journalists.

“Today, I am buying that same loaf of bread at 15. What offence have we committed?”

The second term of Akufo-Addo — who has been president since 2017 — has seen a series of protests over economic problems and brawls in the hung parliament as the government tries to push tough policies it believes could salvage the economy.

Bank of Ghana data indicates the country’s debt to GDP ratio was 80.1 percent at the end of December 2021, and fuel prices have shot up as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ghana Suspends Policemen After Clash With Students

 

Ghana police said a deputy commander and two officers have been suspended after the dispersal of a student demonstration turned violent sending 38 protesters to hospital.

Students of the Islamic Senior High School in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city, protested Monday against frequent motor traffic accidents in front of the school.

After they set up roadblocks, the police fired warning shots in a bid to disperse the crowd and allow traffic through.

“The students pelted the police with stones and the police used pepper spray and fired warning shots in an attempt to disperse them,” police spokesperson Grace Ansah-Akrofi said in a statement late Monday.

“Even though nobody was hit by a bullet, the police handling of the incident was poor and fell short of our standard operating procedure on crowd control,” she added.

“As a result, the deputy regional police commander, DCOP Kwesi Akomeah-Apraku, has been removed from the position and has been interdicted.”

Ansah-Akrofi said that two other officers were also suspended “to make way for a thorough investigation into the incident”.

READ ALSO: WHO To Assess If Monkeypox An International Health Emergency

Ghana’s education ministry condemned the violence, saying it was “collaborating with relevant state institutions to bring finality to the matter”.

“Out of the 38 students (taken to hospital), 22 have been discharged,” ministry spokesperson Kwasi Kwarteng said.

Road accidents are frequent in Ghana due to poor road conditions and reckless driving.

The West African state’s National Roads Safety Commission recorded more than 200 deaths from road accidents between January and mid-March this year.

Buhari To Attend ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit In Ghana

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will today Saturday travel to Ghana, the Presidency announced on Saturday.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement.

He explained that the President is scheduled to attend an Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in Mali and other parts of the sub-region, which will hold in Accra.

“The summit which will hold at the Presidential Palace, Accra, also known as the Jubilee House, is expected to review progress made by Mali’s military junta on the return of the country to democratic rule,” Adesina stated.

“The Heads of State will also review the situation in the Republics of Burkina Faso and Guinea.”

According to him, President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar.

The President is expected back in the country the same day at the end of the summit, Adesina added.

Nigeria/ Ghana Match: NFF Apologises Again, Says FIFA Official Died Of Cardiac Arrest

Watford's Emmanuel Dennis vies for the ball during Nigeria's match with Ghana at the MKO Abiola Stadium on March 29, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.
Watford’s Emmanuel Dennis vies for the ball during Nigeria’s match with Ghana at the MKO Abiola Stadium on March 29, 2022. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television.

 

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has again apologised to Nigerians for the failure of the Super Eagles to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

This formed part of the communique issued at the end of the federation’s executive committee meeting held on Tuesday in Abuja to discuss critical issues in the nation’s football sector.

It thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his presence and apologised that the team faltered in the quest for a ticket to Qatar after losing to the Black Stars of Ghana.

The NFF also reacted to the invasion of the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja by fans who were aggrieved by Eagles’ defeat to the Ghanaian side.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Fail To Qualify For World Cup In Qatar After Ghana Draw

It stressed that the incident had nothing to do with the death of Dr Joseph Kabungo who was appointed as the FIFA Doping Officer for the Nigeria-Ghana playoff match on Tuesday last week.

According to the football governing, Dr Kabungo died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest as attested to by the autopsy report.

It added that the FIFA official’s body has been flown to Zambia for final rites accompanied by his family members who were flown to Nigeria two days after the unfortunate incident.

The NFF also hinted at when it would hold its Annual General Assembly (AGA) which failed to take place on December 17, 2021, as a result of an ex parte injunction that suspend the exercise.

Read the communique of the NFF Executive Committee meeting below:

The Executive Committee of Nigeria Football Federation met on Tuesday, 5th April 2022 at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to deliberate on important issues in Nigeria Football and resolved as follows:

The Executive Committee tendered unreserved apology to the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria for the inability of the Super Eagles to win a ticket to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

It praised the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his personal presence and apologised that the team faltered in the quest for a ticket to Qatar.

For his steadfastness, exemplary leadership and warm relationship with the NFF since assuming office and especially for the FIFA World Cup playoff matches, the Committee commended, appreciated and applauded the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.

The Committee further commended the Honourable Minister for his savvy in convening the meeting held among the Presidency, Sports Ministry and NFF on Monday, 4th April 2022 to review the unfortunate outcome of the match with Ghana and agree concrete steps on how to reinvigorate the Super Eagles and indeed Nigeria Football going forward.

It noted that the meeting was very cordial, as well as established and appreciated the fact that all that was needed to be done and/or provided the team and the technical crew to ensure a positive outcome on the pitch against Ghana was delivered, and in a most professional manner.

In addition, unique motivational strategy was put in place to spur the coaches and the players, such as offering the technical crew a two-and-half year contract. The standard agreement NFF had in place with the players that they will share 35 per cent of the qualifying bonus Nigeria will earn by participating at the Qatar 2022 World Cup was also emphasised.

The Executive Committee regretted the death of Dr Joseph Kabungo, appointed as the FIFA Doping Officer for the Nigeria/Ghana FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Playoff match in Abuja on 29th March 2022.

It reiterated that Dr Kabungo died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest, as attested to by the autopsy report, and disclosed that his body had been flown to Zambia for final rites accompanied by his family members who were flown to Nigeria two days after the unfortunate incident.

It prayed that God grants the soul of Dr Kabungo eternal rest and for fortitude for his family and the Zambia Football Family to bear the big loss. The Committee equally commended the General Secretary for diligence and proficiency in handling issues surrounding the tragic development and also with regards to the match organisation.

After exhaustive deliberations, introspection and admission that the outpouring of emotions by fans and stakeholders over the FIFA World Cup miss was legitimate, the Executive Committee urged caution and patience, and assured that in tandem with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, decisive steps will be taken in the next few days to reposition Nigeria Football in several areas, including the National Teams.

It also disclosed that in line with the statutes, roadmap for new elections into the NFF Board will be designed at the Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the NFF once the ex parte injunction suspending the Congress from meeting is vacated.

It can be recalled that the AGA to set the roadmap for the next NFF election cycle was statutorily scheduled to hold on 17th December, 2021 in Lagos but an ex parte court order was served on the NFF from a Federal High Court in Bayelsa State to stop the meeting.

The NFF had since January 2022 approached the court to vacate the order and the next sitting is scheduled for 26th April 2022. The committee has now proposed June 2022 for the AGA to statutorily set the roadmap for the NFF elective congress provided the order is vacated accordingly.

The Executive Committee mandated its Technical and Development Sub-Committee to, within the next five days, make recommendations to the Executive Committee on coaching crews for the Super Eagles, the CHAN team, the U20 Boys (Flying Eagles) and the U17 Boys (Golden Eaglets) ahead of upcoming assignments. This is to ensure preparations for the next qualifying tournaments and championships commence in earnest.

The Committee hailed the Super Falcons for its qualification for the 12th edition of the Women Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Morocco in the month of July, and promised to provide the team ample support for adequate preparation for the Championship, aware that the event also serves as qualifying tournament for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.

The Super Falcons’ contingent departed Nigeria on Tuesday night for Canada for a two-match tour with that country’s Women’s National Team, and will camp in Morocco for the African Championship.

The Executive Committee also commended the U20 Women National Team, Falconets, for its qualification for this year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup taking place in Costa Rica in the month of August, and charged the U17 girls, Flamingos to put in the hard work necessary to win a ticket to this year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup taking place in India in the month of October.