The Head Coach of the national U-20 women’s team, Yusif Basigi, says he has not given up on his ambition to lead the team to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup despite the postponement of the competition due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jointly hosted by Costa Rica and Panama, the tournament was originally slated for August 2020 but at the April 2 meeting, football’s world governing body shifted the competition to January 2021 (January 20 to February 6) with the same eligibility rules in place in terms of player ages.
Ghana’s Black Princesses were scheduled to play Guinea Bissau in the qualifiers in March but the two-leg fixture was called off by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after the pandemic outbreak disrupted the world sports calendar.
Eye on the ball
Nonetheless, Basigi has not lost his focus and is looking forward to reassembling his young girls to battle for a place in the tournament when the green light is given for the resumption of sporting competitions in Ghana and new dates are given by CAF for the qualifiers.
While the players are currently at home after breaking camp in March, Basigi told the Daily Graphic he was keeping a close eye on them as they undertook individual training to keep fit.
“Even though I don’t meet them face to face, a scheduled training programme has been provided for the players to train and keep fit with monitoring done through videos forwarded to me for assessment.
“Training is always the best when one is directly on hand to supervise training and correct them immediately,’’ he told the Daily Graphic.
When the team reassembles, Basigi — who qualified Ghana for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup — says he is unlikely to tinker much with the team except to make a few new additions.
“I have the core of the team intact, I am monitoring their performance while we await a new date for the qualifiers. However, I need to augment the team with some three new players I have identified.”
The Princesses will be seeking their sixth World Cup qualification after previously participating in the 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 tournaments.