AFCON 2023: We need to accept we are no more favourites – Andre Ayew

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Black Stars skipper Andre Ayew says the Black Stars are no longer the heavyweights they used to be on the continent and it’s high time they accepted that ahead of the start of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Ghana will be in Ivory Coast for their 23rd AFCON appearance since the inception of the tournament in 1957. The Black Stars have won the competition on four occasions but have failed to lift it since last doing so in 1982.

Ghana’s last appearance in the final of the continental showpiece came in 2015 when they lost on penalties to Ivory Coast. They have also failed to make it out of the group stage in the last two major tournaments.

Ahead of the first game, the side’s skipper has asked Ghanaians to accept the reality that the team is far from its best.

“We gave everything we had in the World Cup [in Qatar]. We’re working really hard and prepared for Cape Verde,” he told the press.

“We used to be favourites but now we’re not part of the favourites. We need to accept it and work hard.”

Despite the quality of players in Ghana’s team, the Black Stars are behind in terms of teams likely to win the 34th edition of the AFCON.

Ayew says that could be an advantage for the team.

“We’ve seen a lot of teams who were not expected to win the AFCON and they won it. We’ve seen teams expected to win it,” he added,

“AFCON is unpredictable and that’s an open door we need to slide in. We will give our best.”

Ghana will begin their campaign in Ivory Coast on Sunday, January 14, when they face Cape Verde before subsequently playing Egypt and Mozambique.

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