It will be a homecoming for the Black Stars when they arrive in Port Elizabeth on Thursday, January 17, for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The Black Stars, housed in Group B with DR Congo, Mali and Niger will be based in the harbor city situated in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, renowned for serving as the birth places of some of the foremost statesmen including former Presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.
The inhabitants of the city with a population of over 1 million are looking forward to welcoming the Black Stars to a place they call â€˜homeâ€™.
This is based on the fact that Ghana were based in Port Elizabeth during the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations. At that tournament, the Black Stars were housed in Group D with neighbours Cote dâ€™Ivoire, Mozambique and Tunisia.
Some anxious fans waiting to see the four-time African championship touch base recall fond memories of the team 17-years ago. That team had the likes of Abedi â€˜Peleâ€™ Ayew, Tony Yeboah, Ibrahim Tanko, Felix Aboagye, Simon Addo, Joe Addo, Afo Dodoo, Frank Amankwaah amongst others.
At the 1996 tournament, the matches were held at the ERPU Stadium and Ghana launched their campaign with 2-0 win over Cote dâ€™Ivoire with superb strikes from Ayew and Yeboah. The Stars went on to beat Tunisia 2-1 and Mozambique 2-0 before bidding farewell to the â€œFriendly Cityâ€ with a lone goal victory over DR Congo (then Zaire) at the quarters.
Jabu Luxolo is a mechanical engineer and tells GNA Sports he is looking forward to watching the Black Stars in action yet again.
â€œI watched Ghana 17-years ago when I was a student at the University of Port Elizabeth and I cannot wait to watch them again. The last time they made us happy, especially Abedi Pele and Anthony Yeboah.â€
The Black Stars play DR Congo on January 20, against Mali four days on before squaring Niger on January 28.