Ghana's former coach Claude Leroy (Photo: Reuters)
Ex-Ghana coach Claude Leroy urged the people of Ghana not to blame the Black Stars’ coach and players for their 2-0 loss to Mali in the third-place decider of this year’s African Cup of Nations on Saturday.
Despite starting the competition as a tournament favourite, Ghana failed to clinch the bronze medal at the 2012 Nations Cup.
“In 2008, when we lost to Cameroon, it was terrible. We had to explain to the players that we could not finish like that and that we had to save third place,” Leroy was quoted as saying on GHANAsoccernet.com.
French tactician Leroy, who missed out on a CAN final with Ghana in 2008, says under-pressure coach Goran Stevanovic and his players could not be blamed for Saturday’s defeat.
“Today, it was even more difficult because it was not at home, it was here in Malabo; and the target wasn’t to finish third, but to finish first. So it’s more of a psychological problem than a technical or tactical problem,” he said.
Black Stars defender Jonathan Mensah, meanwhile, won the Fair-Play Award for the third-place match at the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.
Ivory Coast will compete with Zambia on Sunday for the tournament’s coveted gold medal.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter: @AO_Sports)