Dennis Osei Gyamfi
Accra, May 31, GNA - The Black Starlets were "unlucky" to have lost out on winning gold after 18 years, says Abdul Salam Yakubu.
The national under 17 football team, were defeated 1-0 in the final by Mali on Sunday in the African Youth Championship played in Gabon.
Abdul Salam, a Management Committee member of the team, said events in the final game did not play out well for the team and that denied them the ultimate.
"We were unlucky in the final match. The Malians bullied our boys physically with their well-built bodies and the referee was also unfair to us throughout the entire match and all these factors played against us," he noted.
Abdul Salam, who is the owner of New Edubiase football club, however said he was impressed with the team's performance because no one touted them to reach far.
"We were second and that is not bad at all. I am not sure even the media expected us to reach this far. So we are happy with this achievement."
The Starlets have qualified for the FIFA under 17 World Cup in India later this year and Abdul Salam believes the starlets can win the ultimate at the world cup.
The team was given a heroic welcome on their arrival from Gabon on Tuesday with a high powered delegation from the Ministry of Sports, led by the deputy Sports Minister, Ghana Football Association executive members led by its president, Kwesi Nyantakyi, Black Stars coach Akwasi Appiah and hundreds of supporters.