Ghana football at crossroads!

Ghana football at crossroads!

• Annor Walker – Head coach, Black Galaxies

Shocks are no longer strange to Ghana foot­ball. They are now com­monplace!

The other day, it was the senior national team – Black Stars, being bowled out of the 2022 Africa Cup of Na­tions tournament in Camer­oon, after losing 3-2 to Island side Comoros, at the group stage.

That stunning loss culmi­nated in a calamitous first round exit from a tournament the Stars had not won since 1982 – an unthinkable 41-year logjam.

The ongoing Championship of African Nations (CHAN), has yet another fabulous story to relate following the quarter-final elimination of Ghana’s locally-assembled na­tional team – Black Galaxies.

Playing some lifeless piece of football, the Galaxies crashed out after suffering an ego-battering 2-0 loss to lowly-placed Niger – having earlier slumped 2-1 to Mada­gascar in the group stage that had only three teams.

Defending champions Morocco pulled out of the tournament at the 11th hour, citing logistical reasons after the team was denied per­mission to fly directly from Morocco to Algeria using their national airline – Royal Air Maroc.

Algeria one-sidedly rup­tured relations with neigh­bours Morocco in August 2021, for various geopolitical reasons, and have since also prohibited Moroccan aircraft from flying in Algerian air­space.

Paired in Group C along­side Ghana, Sudan and Mad­agascar, Morocco’s absence left the three teams battling for honours.

After losing to Madagascar, the Galaxies raised their stan­dard against the Sudan and got the result (3-1) that sent the Ghanaians to the quar­ters only to crash out rather disquietingly to Niger.

The Niger game was diffi­cult to watch as the Ghana­ians were comprehensively outclassed in all aspects of the evening, leaving many wondering where Ghana’s football is really drifting to.

As said here a couple of weeks ago, Ghana football has sunk so low or speedily plummeting at a neck-break pace, and we shall be re­duced to nothingness if we do not wake up now to fix the miserable plunge.

Dishonesty in player selection, player quality and player commitment are just a few justifications why our football is struggling. This same reason applies to the plunge experienced at the se­nior level. Whatever reasons, there are to it, fact remains that Ghana football is in the doldrums.

President of the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), Kwabena Yeboah, minced no words when he al­luded to that assertion during last weekend’s 47th Awards Night of the association, call­ing for a profound reflection on the nation’s deteriorating fortunes in football in recent years.

The SWAG capo howled at the miserable performances of Ghanaian football clubs and national teams in compe­titions – scolding the Ghana Football Association (GFA) over its major failure.

“We have to do a sober introspection into our lives as a football nation. We need to work smart and invest meaningfully in our sport to halt the rot. Isn’t it sad that in our last four World Cup appearances, we cannot boast of any legacy project from the FIFA money much of which was shared among players and officials?

“We certainly have to take a second look at the prac­tice, for instance, of paying as much as $100,000 to some management members as appearance fee,” he said.

Mr Yeboah could not have put it better, and it is high time we woke up as a nation to put a long-lasting cessa­tion to this malady.

It is also very imperative we realised that we are no longer one of the Gullivers of the African game. We are be­coming the whipping boys at tournaments we are expect­ed to glow. It is pretty sad!

By John Vigah

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