‘Number 12’ may not ring a bell around the globe, however, the phrase ‘Number 12’ in Ghana has become synonymous with the biggest football scandal in the history of the Nation.
The effects of the investigative piece by undercover journalist, Anas Amereyaw Anas threw the country in shock and the football circles in a turmoil, with its effect still unfolding. In the days to the build-up of his work, 'Number 12’ was a symbolism for the influence of other factors aside the 11 players a team fields on a pitch.
The Black Princesses scheduled to make a fifth consecutive appearance at the World Cup in August were not spared from the brushes, with the team having to break camp after football was put on ‘hold’. 21 days of uncertainty the ladies and technical team did not know if their dream of participating in the football mundial will materialize. Despite disheveled plans the team is still determined to make an impact after returning to camp.
The Princesses are also battling with their own ‘Number 12’. This has nothing to do with corruption but a metaphor for the absence of star striker, Princella Adubea. Princella’s was the soul of the team during the qualifiers netting over 9 goals for the Black Princesses and becoming the joint top scorer of the African U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers. Unfortunately, the script didn’t go as planned as her dreams of dazzling at the world stage was cut short by an injury. Undoubtedly one of Ghana’s rising star in women’s football. Princella has netted 38 goals for defending women’s league champions, Ampem Darkoa in two seasons. She is also the top scorer of the last season's Women’s FA Cup.
The team will miss her laughter, her maturity on the pitch and predatory instincts for goals. It was no surprise when the technical team, led by Head Coach Yussif Basigi and six of her teammates paid her a visit. The former captain is expected to go under the knife soon and while the team will be in France, the Black Princesses will have their own ‘number 12’ Princella Adubea rooting for them back home in Ghana.