Among Ghana’s 24 million coaches…

Fri, 8 Nov 2013 Source: Nana Abena Afriyie Kwarkye

I think it is about time we drop the political and economic lens and focus on sports just for a moment. Sports is a discipline that has the power to whip up the spirit of nationalism among everyone. Regardless of one’s ethnic background, social and even political affiliation, Like it or not football especially unit us as a people more than other sports discipline. Who has ever seen any party flags being fling at any stadium during a football match? I can confidently say that Ghanaians forget too quickly about their political affiliations and economic hardship whenever the Black stars of Ghana are playing a football match.

Ghana made our first time world cup appearance in 2006. And we made history by beating the world’s number 2 team. We might not have progressed far, but our name was written boldly in the chronicles of history. Then thankfully Africa; South Africa got the chance to host the world cup in 2010. What a delight it was that almost all African countries threw their weight behind Ghana when we were the only African team to progress from the group stages to the quarter finals. Unfortunately thanks to the power of that guy called Luis Suarez our hope was dashed of ever making it pass the quarter final stage.

Notable in all these instances, our qualification was made possible by foreign coaches. Ghanaians really advocated for the need to hand over the coaching job to one of our own when the seat became vacant. Thankfully, Akwasi Appiah was given that appointment to manage the national team to achieve greater height. During the 2012 African cup of Nations, all the Over 24 million (population of Ghana) coaches in Ghana was expecting Akwasi Appiah to be the “Joshua” who will end our 30 years hunger for the cup. Our expectation was for him to do what “Moses” (foreign coaches) couldn’t do, by taking us to the promise land. I remember the entire cry afterwards, calling for “his head” when the Stars returned empty handed.

Hopefully after the Cairo match between the Stars and the Pharaohs, all the over 24million coaches will add Joshua to Akwasi Appiahs name for being the first local coach to qualify the country to the world cup. I’m of the conviction that Ghana has already qualified irrespective of the venue of the next qualifier match. I already got my ticket to Brazil.

Interestingly, unlike before most women have developed a lot of interest in soccer and it is commendable. I can bet my last Cedi on the fact that the reason is not entirely because of the looks of some footballer, though I will not rule that out completely. Among the 24million coaches, women are gradually increasing in their numbers when football is mentioned. The most fascinating thing about football is when people sit behind their television sets yet giving instructions to the coach as to the changes he has to do (as if the coach can hear any of those comments)

Finally, I pray that when we finally get to Brazil, we will at least progress to the semi-finals. I hope it is not too big a dream. I don’t expect Akwasi Appiah to bring the cup home, but at least I trust he will make the country proud by writing his name in the history books of Ghana. Let me end by offering Akwasi Appiah counseling, remember that even though you are the only one who receives salary as the manager of the Black stars of Ghana, there are over 20million others. You might not be the Joshua of our time, but you can still make a mark.



*By Nana Abena Afriyie Kwarkye abenaafriyiekwarkye@yahoo.com *

Source: Nana Abena Afriyie Kwarkye