FIFA chiefs visit GFA leadership at Black Stars camp in Qatar
Three top FIFA officials visited the Black Stars team hotel at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar when the senior national team arrived in the Asian country on Friday night.
FIFA Deputy Secretary General Mattias Grafstrom led the delegation including Director of Competitions, Manolo Zubiria, and Gelson Fernandes, Director Member Associations (Africa) to visit the Ghana team in their hotel in Doha.
President of the GFA Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku was joined by Vice President Mark Addo, Black Stars Management Committee member Samuel Osei Kuffuor and Executive Council member Dr. Ransford Abbey to welcome the FIFA delegation.
Anthony Baffoe, who is also part of the Black Stars delegation at the tournament, as well as GFA chief of Staff Michael Osekre and Marketing chief Jamil Maraby were also present during the meeting.
Grafstrom welcomed the Ghana delegation to the global football showpiece event and once again congratulated the Black Stars for qualifying to play in the tournament.
“We are absolutely delighted that you arrived in Qatar in style and to have you as part of this competition is something the whole world is looking forward to because of the uniqueness of the Black Stars,” the FIFA Deputy Secretary General said.
“The facilities here are top notch to ensure that the Black Stars, like all the other teams, give off their best during this competition.
“We have high hopes for all the Black Stars because the team has a lot of young players and talented players like your teams in the past.
“We look forward to you playing in the tournament and we are happy that the Black Stars are part of the teams to bring excitement to football fans all over the world when the tournament starts here in Qatar on Sunday.”
President Simeon-Okraku hailed the FIFA for the excellent organisation of the World Cup and the warm welcome the Black Stars received in Qatar.
“Our arrival in Qatar was very smooth with everything in place to ensure that our journey from the airport to our team hotel was flawless. Since we arrived the facilities have been perfect and the players are delighted with what they have seen,” Okraku said.
“As you can see here Ghanaians and other Africans have come here in their numbers to demonstrate their support for the Black Stars and our players have seen what is at stake not only for their country but the entire continent of Africa.
“Thanks to the excellent organisation of FIFA the Black Stars players and their technical staff will now fully focus on the task ahead and that is to step onto the pitch and defend the flag of Ghana with undivided attention.”
Fernandes, who is the Director Member Associations (Africa) and a former team-mate of ex-Ghana international Kwadwo Asamoah at Italian side Udinese, said he is confident the Black Stars will excel at the tournament because of the talents in the squad.
The Black Stars arrived in Qatar on Friday night after their pre-tournament camping in Abu Dhabi where they beat Switzerland 2-0 in their final friendly match.
Ghana will make a record fourth World Cup appearance when they kick off their Group H campaign against Portugal on November 24.