Thank God We Didn’t Advance To The Round Of Sixteen


Before you attack me for being unpatriotic to my dear nation, which I love so much, like the title of this article would suggest, hold on a minute, I am one very sad citizen this morning, if you are a happy man, this article is not meant for you, so please stop reading, but if you are happy and optimistic about the future, please continue with me.

I was quite confident that given the impressive run by the Milovan Rajevac tutored team that took us to the quarter finals in the South Africa 2010 World Cup, where we were robbed of a semi-final place by that Uruguay boy, the Black Stars would crown the Brazil 2014 World
Cup, which is our third consecutive appearance with a Semi-Finals berth.

That would have been an overall victory for Ghanaians as far as this year’s soccer mundial was concerned.

Football means everything to us, it is one thing that brings us together, it is what unites us, it is a passion that has always put smiles on our faces, in fact it comes only next to religion. So we do not take excuses for the lackluster performance on the part of officials, who are paid by tax payers money and all they had to do is manage football.

But we filed out of the tournament last Thursday with our tails in-between our legs under a nice weather in Brasilia against Portugal, who beat us by 2 goals to 1; it was the worst performance of the Senior National team in recent years, not the loss, after all we lost to the United State of America (USA), but the performance was just shambolic, the spark was not there, they played with no sense of purpose.

The streets of Accra on Thursday night were silent with every one wearing long faces as though someone of high standing had just kicked the bucket, it sadly reminded me of the day we lost our dear President, John Evans Atta Mills.

It is always so bad losing, when a little effort could see you sail through or make it to the next round. It makes one hiss, curse and bicker.

When I was younger, I would refuse my meals and for days to come, I would be moody.

Today, as I sat behind my computer to write this article I am moody, but in my moodiness I find something positive about our loss.

If we had progressed to the Round of 16, the hawks in The Ghana Football Association (GFA), would have -like always- claimed the victory and we wouldn’t have heard nor make efforts whatsoever to correct all the many wrongs that happened with the team in Brazil. We became the ridicule of the world with everything that is gone wrong at Brazil.

We are now being told of similar happenings in Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010, not forgetting, the many African Cup of Nations we participated in since 2006, why did the GFA, decided not to tell Ghanaians that everything was not well in South Africa.

Journalists, who accompanied the team to South Africa, upon their return decided to voice out what went wrong, were branded unpatriotic and doomsayers. The Ghana Football Association (GFA), had always come out to rubbish those stories, now they are stripped naked and we all now know that not all is well with our sports.

Losing is nature’s way of telling us to our faces that we’ve not done everything necessary to win. Losing gives us the chance to look back at the nature of preparation of the Kwesi Appiah led team, you do not expect any results other than what we had if you only play two friendly matches before a major tournament like the world cup.

Losing reminds us that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Losing reminds us that Kwesi Appiah’s preparations were delayed because of the usual complaint: funds.

Let’s ask the questions nobody would have asked if we had won. Now, you don’t win the matches just by luck. Very serious preparations and efforts have to go into it.

The President has announced that a committee would be set up to investigate why this early exit and the accompanying problems, as well as the scandals that rock our camp.

We lost out because we failed to score period.

Let’s not make anymore fools of ourselves by wasting additional resources to investigate what we already know. What should engage us now should be the solutions going forward so that we do not find ourselves in the mess that we witnessed in Brazil.

The President, John Dramani Mahama, has relieved the Minister of Sports, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah and his deputy, Joseph Yamin from post. I could have hailed the decision of the President, if they were to go home and atone for their ineptitude, rather they have assigned to go on taking Ghanaians for granted.

We have to shed away the defeatist attitude that has not helped us since independence, when someone goofs, we should be bold enough to tell them they did so. Ministers should not lose their jobs only when there is change of Government.

Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, is not fit for any public position in this country, his efforts and inputs could make a President go down, but his competence does not extend beyond political party management.

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