Ghana football at crossroads!
• Annor Walker – Head coach, Black Galaxies
Shocks are no longer strange to Ghana football. They are now commonplace!
The other day, it was the senior national team – Black Stars, being bowled out of the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon, after losing 3-2 to Island side Comoros, at the group stage.
That stunning loss culminated in a calamitous first round exit from a tournament the Stars had not won since 1982 – an unthinkable 41-year logjam.
The ongoing Championship of African Nations (CHAN), has yet another fabulous story to relate following the quarter-final elimination of Ghana’s locally-assembled national team – Black Galaxies.
Playing some lifeless piece of football, the Galaxies crashed out after suffering an ego-battering 2-0 loss to lowly-placed Niger – having earlier slumped 2-1 to Madagascar in the group stage that had only three teams.
Defending champions Morocco pulled out of the tournament at the 11th hour, citing logistical reasons after the team was denied permission to fly directly from Morocco to Algeria using their national airline – Royal Air Maroc.
Algeria one-sidedly ruptured relations with neighbours Morocco in August 2021, for various geopolitical reasons, and have since also prohibited Moroccan aircraft from flying in Algerian airspace.
Paired in Group C alongside Ghana, Sudan and Madagascar, Morocco’s absence left the three teams battling for honours.
After losing to Madagascar, the Galaxies raised their standard against the Sudan and got the result (3-1) that sent the Ghanaians to the quarters only to crash out rather disquietingly to Niger.
The Niger game was difficult to watch as the Ghanaians were comprehensively outclassed in all aspects of the evening, leaving many wondering where Ghana’s football is really drifting to.
As said here a couple of weeks ago, Ghana football has sunk so low or speedily plummeting at a neck-break pace, and we shall be reduced to nothingness if we do not wake up now to fix the miserable plunge.
Dishonesty in player selection, player quality and player commitment are just a few justifications why our football is struggling. This same reason applies to the plunge experienced at the senior level. Whatever reasons, there are to it, fact remains that Ghana football is in the doldrums.
President of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), Kwabena Yeboah, minced no words when he alluded to that assertion during last weekend’s 47th Awards Night of the association, calling for a profound reflection on the nation’s deteriorating fortunes in football in recent years.
The SWAG capo howled at the miserable performances of Ghanaian football clubs and national teams in competitions – scolding the Ghana Football Association (GFA) over its major failure.
“We have to do a sober introspection into our lives as a football nation. We need to work smart and invest meaningfully in our sport to halt the rot. Isn’t it sad that in our last four World Cup appearances, we cannot boast of any legacy project from the FIFA money much of which was shared among players and officials?
“We certainly have to take a second look at the practice, for instance, of paying as much as $100,000 to some management members as appearance fee,” he said.
Mr Yeboah could not have put it better, and it is high time we woke up as a nation to put a long-lasting cessation to this malady.
It is also very imperative we realised that we are no longer one of the Gullivers of the African game. We are becoming the whipping boys at tournaments we are expected to glow. It is pretty sad!
By John Vigah