Sports Features of Tue, 17 Jun 20141
The god of vengeance is a Costa Rican
World Cup Diary 2
On Saturday night I put the headline – the god of vengeance is a Costa Rican on my Facebook wall and within minutes people were “liking” it and passing comments by the dozen. Other ecstatic Ghanaians had expressed similar sentiments on social media and it was obvious that we could not contain our joy. And this was 72 hours before our own Black Stars first kickoff in Brazil. We were celebrating the defeat of Uruguay at the hands of Costa Rica when the pair met in their group’s opening game.
Geography is no longer an active subject in schools these days so I wonder whether most Ghanaians know where Costa Rica is in the world, but we don’t really care even if it is in outer space. We have adopted that Central American country and would be cheering its team on in this tournament.
The reason for this sudden burst of love for Costa Rica’s four million people can be summed up in the axiom: the enemy of an enemy is a friend. Uruguay and Ghana are friends in a vague United Nations sort of way, but on the football pitch one man’s hand has cemented a bond of enmity between the two countries which only a redemptive Black Star victory over that country can erase. Last Saturday, the man who has become the symbol of hatred and contempt was not even on the field having being felled by the combined efforts of Ghana’s ancient gods. (I always thought Kwaku Bonsam targeted the wrong player; Ronaldo has not wronged us m- not yet anyway).
I can still remember the despondent mood in Ghana the morning after Luis Suarez illegally and ignominiously scooped the goal-bound aerial ball from deep inside the goalposts to deny Ghana a historic place in the semifinal in South Africa. A deathly silence descended on the country and an early July mist did not help matters. I remember that I drove to Akuapem more to escape the enveloping sense of doom than for any meaningful purpose. May this never happen to us again; say AMEN!
This was the background to our exhilarating sense of redemption when Uruguay, much-fancied in the pre-match analysis, went down heavily to Costa Rica. If it had been earlier in the day the streets of Accra would have exploded almost as if we had won our opening match, which hopefully will be tonight.
Now that we have taken Costa Rica to heart, here a few facts about the country, courtesy - Wikipedia:
• The name Costa Rica means the Rich Coast in Spanish.
• It is a country in Central America bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island.
• It is a unitary state with a liberal democratic and presidential republic
• The capital city is San José
• Currency: Costa Rican colon
• President: Luis Guillermo Solís
• Official language: Spanish Language