Ghana’s struggle to make it to the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia can be attributed to the bad political and economic situation in the country in 2016 under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) government, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.

According to him when Ghana was doing well economically and politically in 2006 under a New Patriotic Party government, the national team qualified to the World Cup for the first time in Germany and performed well, making the quarter final at the 2010 Mundial in South Africa.

He noted that it had become difficult for the Black Stars to qualify to the next World Cup in Russia because when the qualifiers began in 2016, a lot of things were wrong politically and economically in the country.

Mr Akufo-Addo said this at a presidential lecture at the Academy of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Germany on Tuesday 13 June.

Speaking on the theme: “Ghana – A Rising Star in Africa” and touching on how football could tell the Ghanaian story, Mr Akufo-Addo told the audience: “Germany is a great footballing nation and current world champions, and accordingly it might be worthwhile for me to tell the story of how football tells the Ghana story.

“Throughout the years, it is known there are a lot of football talents in Ghana. Our Sammy Kufuor played his football here in Bayern Munich and delighted German fans. It is not until 2006 that Ghana finally qualified for the World Cup. Some of you might remember that our national team, the Black Stars, was the surprise of that tournament and German fans warmed up to them.

“It probably was not a coincidence that in the year 2006, Ghana was doing well politically and economically that carried us to the next World Cup in 2010 in South Africa and our national team again did well and won many plaudits.

“By 2014 when we got to Brazil, not only did the team not perform well, we got into the headlines for all the wrong reasons. We were the team that chartered a plane to carry cash from Ghana to Brazil. It showed the wrongs going on in the country in the political and economic front.

“Regrettably, it appears qualifying for the next World Cup in 2018 may be difficult. 2016 was not a good year politically and economically and it showed in our football. Nevertheless, I’m sure the Black Stars will give it their best shot.”

The Black Stars have an arduous task to qualify to Russia 2018 having garnered only one point from two games played. The Stars drew goalless with Uganda at home and lost by two goals to nil to Egypt away.

Ghana is in the same qualifying group with Egypt, Uganda and Congo, with only one team qualifying for the Mundial next year in Russia.