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Ghana names Appiah as new national soccer coach


10:55, April 18, 2012

ACCRA, April 17 (Xinhua) -- Ghana officially declared Tuesday James Kwesi Appiah, a former national star, as the new coach for the Black Stars, Ghana's senior national male soccer team, for a two-year renewable period.

The Executive Committee of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) chose Appiah to replace Serbian Goran Stevanovic who was sacked last month.

Introducing Appiah at a well-attended ceremony, GFA President Kwasi Nyantakyi expressed the hope that the new coach would succeed since he was the best suited for the position.

Nyantakyi said the association was committed to supporting the new coach to achieve success for the country.

"We are throwing our support behind him," he said at the packed press conference, adding "we will not put any impediment on his way."

Appiah, a former captain of the national team, promised to work hard and assemble the best squad to win laurels for the nation.

"I know there will be little pressures and I expect that. I have been around the team for some time now and I am very much aware of the challenges and pressures that come with the job.

"I am a man of few words and my job is cut out to qualify Ghana to the African Cup of Nations and the World Cup," the new coach stated.

Appiah thanked the Ghanaian government, Executive Committee of the GFA, as well as the teeming soccer fans in Ghana for having put their trust and confidence in him.

The newly outdoored coach has been the deputy national team coach since 2008, who also coached the nation's under-23 team to win a gold medal at the All African Games in Maputo, Mozambique, last year after beating South Africa 4-2 on penalties in the final.

His first competitive game in charge of the FIFA World Cup quarterfinalists would be the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign at home to Lesotho in June, followed by a cagey encounter against African Cup of Nations winners Zambia.

Ghana placed fourth at the 2012 CAF African Nations Cup co- hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea and has not won the continental "holy grail" since 1982.

Appiah's contract runs until the end of the 2014 World Cup.


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