The lost AFCON fever

The lost AFCON fever

Low patronage for Black Stars paraphernalia

 Coming events, they say cast their shadows before them.

Could this axiom be the reason for the obvious fans apathy against the Black Stars in an AFCON year?

A few fans have con­firmed that due to the re­cent poor performances and disappointing results they churn out, they have decided to be indifferent and wait for the championship to peak and see what the Stars have for Ghanaians.

But another school of thought is also hanging around those who have decided to be patriotic and support the Black Stars no matter what.

Patronage has been low for Black Stars paraphernalia
Patronage has been low for Black Stars paraphernalia

However, this group are also supporting with caution and with modest expecta­tion.

Fans boredom against the Black Stars have become very palpable but the levels to which it has sunk to needs the football people to re­think and get the fans back to the stands to cheer their national teams.

A walk through some principal streets of the capital reveals a situation unprecedented.

Usually, an AFCON period would be one replica jersey and other sports parapher­nalia vendors look out for to cash out.

They sell products ranging from jerseys, flags, various wrist bands created in national colours to balls and face painting, especially on match days.

Now, one gets to his/her place of work to also find colleagues dressed dazzlingly in Black Stars replica jerseys and other stuff related to the team.

The sound of vuvuzela would also be heard every­where, sending a strong message to even the non-fa­natics of the team’s readi­ness for battle.

But what is seen today is nothing to write home about. The streets look normal with people minding their businesses. Vendors anticipate the worst so they are reluctant to invest in the sale of paraphernalia.

The streets of Osu Oxford street is a good example. On match days especially, vendors would be seen busily attending to customers, ac­companied by some hawking along the street to attend to those in vehicles.

The Kwame Nkrumah Circle area, stretching to the Awudome end is also not spared of the usual hustling and bustling in this ‘festive’ period but a visit there re­vealed otherwise.

If that is a sign of how the spirit of the fans has dimmed, then the Black Stars have a long road to journey back to their fans.

This situation has brought about issues concerning play­er commitment, the quality of playing staff and the competence of the technical team appointed to end the 42-year-old AFCON drought.

It came as little sur­prise, therefore when the supposed team’s king pin, Kudus Mohammed granted an interview underscoring his commitment to the team.

I have always maintained that an invitation to feature for a national team was something every footballer should grab with pride be­cause it does a lot of good to the player’s reputation.

This is a fact players are well aware of.

Ghana is blessed with a lot of talented players who are plying their trades across the globe and for that mat­ter, concerns about quality must not come up.

But it does because it appears the system or criteria for selection lacks transparency and therefore anytime teams are selected, it attracts dissenting views.

However, a team of 27 players or so meant that the system cannot have every player on board. It is the reason the wailing and gnashing of teeth must end for fans to wear their colour­ful jerseys to support their team.

The group opening loss to Cape Verde may have dampened the spirit of many further. The outcome of the second game against Egypt remains unknown as of press time for this paper but no matter the outcome, Ghana­ian fans must reignite that passion and support for the team to thrive

 By Andrew Nortey

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