Head coach of the Black Starlets of Ghana Ben Fokuo has revealed how the Covid-19 crisis has affected his plans for the team.
The deadly disease which has become a global pandemic in the past months forced the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) to postpone all international games indefinitely to protect stakeholders of the game.
Government also suspended all football activities in the country to curb the spread of the virus. As CAF announced the return of its various competitions, Akufo-Addo granted the national teams the green light to prepare for their various CAF assignment.
According to coach Ben Fokuo, the Covid-19 pandemic has indeed distracted his plans for the team at the WAFU tournament as well as the qualifiers to the next AWCON.
“It has affected us a lot because we started camping around February, which we were having about 5 months to prepare since the competition would have been in July. The pandemic has affected us a lot because now we have about a month to prepare the team and so things we need to go through when you have enough time to prepare the team for a competition has been reduced to less than two months of preparation. The players have been screened, picked and camping had started already, so, things that have to be done in five months have to be done in less than two months so we need to speed up to be well prepared before we leave.”
In view of being granted access to train, the Black Starlets coach has invited 40 players to camp .
“As I said earlier, the things we need to do through the 5 months, we don’t have it now, so, this program will be a little bit packed. The first week will be about accommodation and whatever it is to get them to a certain stage which we think will be good. We don’t have matches to play now because the teams are locked up. So, we can’t play competitive matches with the local teams. We are going to have a program which will make the boys fit so that we can get closer to where we need, before we get to the match period.”
The Black Starlets broke camp in March, following the COVID-19 pandemic. They began preparations in February and broke camp in March following the ban on contact sport.
Ghana’s male U-17 team will resume camping next week to prepare for the 2020 WAFU Zone B Cup of Nations, slated for Benin from October 17-31, 2020.