Black Starlets head coach Ben Fokuo was back in front of the camera on Wednesday morning, 24 hours after Ghana crashed out of the ongoing WAFU U-17 Cup of Nations in Kegue, Togo. The Black Starlets needed only one point to make it to the next round of the competition but Ghana suffered an excruciating 3-1 defeat to Cote D'Ivoire to bow out. Head coach Ben Fokuo has been speaking to the media team of the Ghana Football Association.
Read on for the full transcript:
On the result and performance of referee Vincentia
If you look at the way the boys were playing, attacking and trying to get our first goal, although we conceded the first goal, we tried to make sure that we equalized. We were attacking and looking for chances to score. I can say everybody who watched the game yesterday, looking at the attitude of the referee, tells you that the referee didn’t want us to qualify so I can say that the referee contributed a lot to the defeat.
On approach to the game against Cote D'Ivoire
We went into the game with the right approach because we knew we wanted to qualify so we approached the game with the hope of qualification, either we win or draw. It didn’t happen, and sometimes in games, certain things happen and makes you think it wasn’t the right approach for a match but I think we went into the game with a right approach.
On the team failing to impress and future of players
The fact that we lost doesn’t mean that the team won’t go places. Sometimes you look at the quality of players you have and it tells you that they will go places. If we lost a game doesn’t mean that the team won’t go places in terms of individual players. That’s not the end for the U-17 team though we are out of the competition but we look ahead for a brighter future. Some of the players will still be in the U-17 team and some will progress to the U-20 and they will improve and help us win trophies.
On the mood in camp after the loss
The players are disappointed and I think that is football. They were behind us hoping we win and make the country proud and that was what we were also hoping to do by qualifying for the AFCON and God willing for the World Cup but it didn’t happen.
On disappointment and future of the Black Starlets
I know Ghanaians are disappointed and the players and technical team are also not happy for not qualifying to the next stage of the competition. But what I will tell Ghanaians is that, they should keep on being behind the U-17 team and we still have to scout and build a new U-17 side for the future. They shouldn’t be downhearted; we have a long way to go in future and we have new talents in the country to assemble for the U-17 side to do their best in future for the country.