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Sports Features Sun, 7 Sep 2014

Comment: Ghana paying for disrespecting fans

It takes a certain level of consistent disrespect to get fans to reach tipping point.

Somehow, the current Ghana team has managed it.


The past nine weeks have been difficult for the country’s football. The World Cup disgrace was acutely painful for fans.


It has been followed by two weeks of a presidential inquiry detailing how the taxpayer was financially raped while the world looks on in interest.


This week was supposed to be succour time; a period where the players came home, accepted their faults, got bashed a bit and then won the fans over by beating Uganda – or at least playing with heart.


Instead, they aggravated the hurt even more.


What were they thinking?


There was such condescension in their utterances.

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Andre Ayew, in his infinite wisdom, decided to berate everyone for not understanding why money is important to his teammates and himself.


“Bonuses for any Ghanaian player are deserved. We love our country, but we are also working.


“It is our job. Do you know what we have done for people in Ghana?”


“We don’t need to make these things public, we do it from our hearts. We do charity all the time.


“Money is not football and football is not money. The money, in any case, is spent in Ghana.


“Whether we buy land or use it on our family, it stays in Ghana.”


Then Asamoah Gyan added his bit: “We don’t take the money just for pleasure. We use it on our families and in Africa our friends are part of our families.

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“Unlike Europe where a family is just a man, his wife and kids, in Africa it is different. I have a company in Ghana and pay 200 workers. I pay tax.


“We bring cars into this country and the duties we pay are sometimes even bigger than the $100 000.”


Backfiring PR


If the players thought these comments would appease fans, they were spectacularly disappointed.


Five minutes to kick-off against Uganda, the stadium was only about half-full.


That is the price the players and management of the team will continue paying until they show true remorse. There have been several apologies made by different members of the playing body and management, but they sound half-hearted.


Somebody should teach the team some standard redemptive behaviour.

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When you wrong your parents, they will get angry. It’s like you’ll get grounded and they will become cold.


To win back favour, you shut up and become extra good.


All over the world, it is what children do.


Maybe Ghana’s Black Stars feel that because they are not children, this tried and tested rule of getting back into good books does not apply to them.


It is this lack of recognition of their flaws that is making their people angry.


For the first time in living memory, there is almost universal acclaim at the team’s lack of remorse after a disgraceful World Cup.


Going forward

Local fans applauded every good move from Uganda, and booed even when Andre Ayew got the leveller.


The fans cheered when Tony Mawejje scored, and booed their Black Stars at half time.


This cannot go on if Ghana is to do well in these qualifiers.


The Ghana FA must sort out its mess - and quickly.

Source: www.supersport.com