Hayford rues Ghana’s absence from African Nations Championship 

The former national women’s coach sheds light on the Black Stars’ three straight qualification failures 

Renowned Ghanaian coach Bashir Hayford has lamented the nation’s absence from the ongoing African Nation Championship in Cameroon.

Ghana, two-time finalists, are missing from the sixth edition of the tournament after failing to go past neighbours Burkina Faso during the qualifying series.

It is the third straight time the home-based Black Stars have failed to qualify for the competition.

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“Ghana as a country does not set targets for the Chan tournament and that’s why we are always struggling to qualify,” Hayford, currently head coach of Ghana Premier League side Legon Cities, told Hot FM.

“Football is a very different game where the team will have to be together for a certain period of time before competing but what do we see here in Ghana, sometimes two weeks preparations and this is not helping our teams at all, most especially our national teams.”

Ghana finished as runners-up at the inaugural competition in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009, losing to DR Congo in the final.

After a group stage exit at the following edition in Sudan, the Black Stars bounced back once again, reaching their second final in three events at the 2014 gathering in South Africa.

Their second attempt to win a final, though, ended in disappointment one more time as they succumbed to Libya in a penalty shoot-out.

“I’m very surprised Ghana did not qualify for the Chan competition. For me, that is very strange. I believe Ghana has quality players to play in that competition,” Hearts of Oak head coach Kosta Papic recently said on Ghana’s absence from the showpiece in Cameroon.

After three straight appearances at Chan, Ghana missed out on the competition for the first time in 2016 when they lost out to Cote d’Ivoire on away goals rule after a 2-2 score on aggregate during the qualifiers. 

After their inability to make the tournament in Rwanda, the Black Stars saw disappointment in the race to Morocco 2018 after a 4-3 aggregate loss to Burkina Faso.

In the qualifiers for the ongoing championship in Cameroon, Ghana lost to Burkina Faso for the second straight time, this time by a 1-0 aggregate defeat.

The Black Stars will hope to make a return for the next edition of the competition in Algeria next year. 

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