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  Cult figure Pfister plots Ghana's downfall

Cameroon coach Otto Pfister enjoys cult status in Africa, a continent he has called home for a large chunk of his long life.
At 70 the irascible chain-smoking German's features are as well known to an African football fan as those of Michael Essien or Didier Drogba.
Pfister guided Ghana to the 1992 African Nations Cup final - his mission here 16 years on is to wreck the hosts' dream of 'host and win' when the two sides meet in Thursday's semi-final.

"I will tactically paralyse the Black Stars in Thursday's match," the straight-talking septuagenerian promised, without elaborating on his masterplan to derail the hosts' charge to the title.
"I have a track record in this tournament and my primary objective is to beat Ghana," added Pfister, who shed his years after Monday's extra time win over Tunisia to join the team in a celebratory sing-song.
"You remember in 1992 I led the Black Stars to the final but I am working harder towards beating Ghana this time around."
This is not the first time Pfister has been in charge of a team at the African Nations Cup in Ghana as he guided the then Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) to the finals of the 1978 edition.
The heavy smoker, whose first African assignment was with Rwanda in 1972, was at the helm of Togo's fraught 2006 World Cup campaign and he had to call on all his vast experience there to resolve a player strike over unpaid bonuses.
He quit as coach in exasperation at the Togo football federation's handling of the bonus-crisis in Germany, only to return three days later.
Off the pitch he can claim the honour of starting a whole new fashion trend in Africa known as the 'Otto Pfister' after his penchant for wearing trousers on the hip rather than the waist.
He is prone to shooting from the hip as well, with his no-nonsense style leaving him unfazed about upsetting sensibilities when he feels something has to be said.
Last week he launched a tirade against the 2008 organising committee, where his list of grievances included lost luggage, hotel rooms not ready, and late lunches because the hotel kitchen was locked.
"It's a total catastrophe," he fumed.

"Every day there's something. Remember, we've got several world stars in the squad - it's really hard trying to keep up the team's moral."
His place as part and parcel of the football scene here was acknowledged last week when he was accused by a leading health body of setting a bad example to the youth of Africa by lighting up a cigarette in the stadium during Cameroon's game with Zambia.
Pfister rules with a rod of iron, and his players clearly adore him.
"Move with the ball. No! Shoot. That's good. But why don't you play like that in matches!" he barks during training.
The team obey his every command, respectful of their veteran boss.
Midfielder Mbia Etoundi Stephane, the two-goal hero against Tunisia, wouldn't swop Pfister for any other coach in the tournament.
"Our coach must be respected, and with him on our side we hope to win our next match against the Black Stars," he told Wednesday's Daily Graphic.


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On Song Cameroon hope to hit right note against Egypt     (10-02-2008 12:49)
Ghana 2008 erases Nations Cup all time goal-scoring record     (10-02-2008 12:23)
Le Roy wins new contract from GFA     (10-02-2008 12:22)
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Shehata receives Egypt vote of confidence     (09-02-2008 17:21)
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It's Lions v Pharoahs as Ghana mourns Cup exit     (07-02-2008 23:44)
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Egypt v Ivory Coast teams     (07-02-2008 20:29)
Nkong fires 10-man Cameroon past Ghana and into final     (07-02-2008 19:29)
Ghana and Cameroon 0-0 at half-time in semi-final     (07-02-2008 18:01)
CAF owns up to stripping Drogba of award     (07-02-2008 18:01)
Michel fired in wake of Morocco's Cup flop     (07-02-2008 18:01)
Ghana: Annan eyes Chelsea move     (07-02-2008 11:34)
Cameroon: We’ve learnt from Nigeria’s exit - Njitap     (07-02-2008 10:13)
CAN 2008 semi-finals: Cameroon promises to oust Ghana     (07-02-2008 10:12)
Eto'o - the film, at a cinema near you soon     (07-02-2008 09:15)
Kolo Toure trains with Ivory Coast     (06-02-2008 22:20)
Heavy rain cuts short Egypt training     (06-02-2008 22:19)
Ghana face Cameroon wary of 'final syndrome'     (06-02-2008 22:18)
Cult figure Pfister plots Ghana's downfall     (06-02-2008 22:18)
Zidan cautious on availability     (06-02-2008 22:18)
Ivory Coast Elephants are unstoppable fires Kalou     (06-02-2008 22:17)
Egypt, Cameroon, complete semi-final cast list     (05-02-2008 22:29)
Muntari's character far from sullied as he flies high for Ghana     (05-02-2008 22:29)
It's all Agogo as fan offers granddaughter as thank you     (05-02-2008 22:28)
Vogts' position further weakened after Nigeria loss: BBC     (05-02-2008 12:08)
Egypt march past Angola and into the last four     (04-02-2008 23:09)
Recalled Mbia the hero as Cameroon edge Tunisia     (04-02-2008 23:09)
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Nigerian team christened 'Super Chickens' after Ghana defeat at CAN 2008     (04-02-2008 19:42)
Egypt march past Angola and into the last four     (04-02-2008 19:04)
Le Roy bemoans Mensah blow, hails fans     (04-02-2008 17:17)
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Ivorian 'Elephants' trample Guinea into Nations Cup dust     (03-02-2008 22:52)
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Derniére mise à jour 30/3/2009