Ghana’s Sports Minister Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has asked the Black Stars to defeat Sudan on Friday to keep alive the country’s hopes of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

Mr. Ankrah told the Black Stars that the country cannot afford not to qualify for the tournament in Brazil as Ghanaians are eagerly waiting to attend the competition.

The minister watched the Black Stars last training session in Ethiopia on Wednesday as the team wrapped-up its preparation for the match in Khartoum.

The Black Stars have been training in Ethiopia over the past seven days in preparation for the match against the Nile Crocodiles.

The minister visited the team in Addis Ababa and watched their last training session at the Ethiopian national stadium before meeting the players.

Mr. Ankrah hailed the players for their commitment to the national team and asked them to win the match against the Nile Crocodiles.

“The President of Ghana and the Chief of Staff have been calling constantly for updates on your preparations for the matches against Sudan and Lesotho,” Mr Ankrah told the Black Stars.

“I have full confidence in you that you will conquer Sudan and Lesotho and the rest of of our oppoents to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

“The Brazil fever is very high in Ghana and all Ghanaians want to go to Brazil to watch the competition with the Black Stars in action.

“You are carrying the soul and the spirit of the whole nation. I have watched your training which was at a high level and I know this will lead us to victory against Sudan.

“Your sacrifices for the nation will not be in vein. From the President of the country to the last person in Ghana you should know that we are solidly behind you.”

Ghana play Sudan in a Group D qualifier on Friday for a place in the third round stage of qualifying for the World Cup finals in Brazil next year.

The Black Stars, chasing a third consecutive appearance at the World Cup are just one point adrift leaders, Zambia on the log with the side that finishes top, advancing to next round.