AFCON 2015 organisers get a good final match up to end the tournment

February 8, 2015 4:04 pm0 comments by:

AFCON 2015 CUPOrganisers of a football tournament have a dream final. They would admit privately or informally to the media. However, they are quick to make known their views in public.

In the case of AFCON 2015, the organisers would have wished for two scenarios. The first scenario is for the host Equatorial Guinea, to be in the final against Ghana or Ivory Coast. The alternate is for two big hitters such as Algeria vs Ghana or Ivory Coast. AFCON 2015 organisers have got one of their fairy tale final Ghana vs Ivory Coast despite major difficulties.
Morocco were banned from the next two Africa Cup of Nations after failing to host this year’s tournament. The country’s football federation was also fined US$1m (£650,000) and ordered to pay 8m euros (£5.9m) in damages.
There was an extraordinary meeting held at CAF headquarters in BATA, Equatorial Guinea on the 2nd February 2015, the CAF Referees Committee reviewed the quarter final match between Tunisia Vs Equatorial Guinea played on 31st January 2015. They decided to end the mission of the match referee for the AFCON 2015 and suspend him for a 6 months period.
It also imposed Equatorial Guinea Federation with a fine following incidents at the Semi-final match against Ghana. The ugly scenes in the semi-final match were the match was interrupted for 30 minutes towards the end of Ghana’s 3-0 win over Equatorial Guinea on Thursday as the home supporters threw missiles from the stands. It was regrettable and marred the positives from the games played during the knockout phase.
All the Knockout matches played after the group match phase have been a joy to watch. It was an improvements to the boring group matches. I have to give credit for producing attacking play. This started with Congo vs DR Congo match that ended in 4:2 in favour of DR Congo.
We witnessed the type of attacking football that I was hoping to see throughout the event. The organisers are chuffed that Ghana vs Ivory Coast did make it to the final against all odds. Both teams route to the final were fraught with difficult opponents despite the results.
The game between Ghana vs Guinea was a close one and could easily have gone to Guinea. They started brightly and had a number of chances to score. In the end, Ghana survived the early onslaught and won 3-0.
Ivory Coast route to final was difficult especially with a slow start in the Group stage. They had a tough quarter final match against Algeria. Ghana vs Ivory Coast survived the tough matches because of the recognised European based players. For the Black Stars of Ghana, you have Ayew Brothers, Asamaoh Gyan and the surprise package Kwesi Appiah.Ivory Coast have the Toure brothers, Chiek Tiote, Wilfred Bony, Max Gradel and Gervinho. These players play regularly for their European professional clubs.
Football organisers and television broadcasters crave for recognised teams and players to help view ship. This is even important as they need to promote the final and benefit from their investment.
From a football point of view, it promises to be a competitive match and either team capable of lifting the crown as African Champions. Ghana coach Avram Grant is expecting a good game with Ivory Coast in today’s Africa Cup of Nations Cup final.
“We’ve seen quality players and quality football in this tournament but we can expect even more,” he said. “There are a lot of good players in both line-ups and I think because of that we can expect a quality final.”

Ghana will seek to avenge defeat to Ivory Coast in the 1992 final – the only time the Elephants have lifted the trophy – and Grant says his side are in the right frame of mind to deliver.
Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard says his team will draw belief from their success 23 years ago.
“The win in 1992 is a psychological advantage as Ivory Coast beat Ghana on penalties”, said Renard, who was Ghana’s assistant coach at the 2008 Nations Cup.
It would be disappointing, if the final does not live up to its expectation because both teams go back to their defensive mode. Especially, due to the difficulties experienced prior to the event and how we seem to have overcome the odds
Organisers will be eager for the focus to return to football and away from the crowd trouble in Ghana’s semi-final that has marred the tournament.
No-one will want a repeat of those scenes and it would be good for the tournament to ends on a positive note with a good final.


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