Ghana refused request to stay in Cabinda

CABINDA, Angola - Ghana have been refused permission to switch the venue of their last African Nations Cup Group B game from Luanda to Cabinda, a spokesman said on Thursday.

Ghana, who take on Ivory Coast in Cabinda on Friday, wanted to remain in the northern enclave for Tuesday's game against Burkina Faso.

"We asked the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to stay in Cabinda for this last game but our request has not been granted," a Ghana FA spokesman said.

The CAF decision means that if Ghana finish top of the group they will have to fly back to Cabinda for their quarter-final. However, they will remain in Luanda if they end up in second place.

Ghana have yet to play a game in this year's Nations Cup after their opening match against Togo was cancelled following the departure of their West African neighbours after the deadly gun attack on their bus.

"I (would) like to express my sincere condolences to the people of Togo for the tragic events at the start of the tournament," Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien, who joined the squad on Wednesday, told the Ghana FA website.

"I hope they can overcome the tragic scenes they witnessed as soon as possible. Football unites us all and hopefully we can carry on with the tournament peacefully to bring joy and happiness to everyone."