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Feature Article of Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Columnist: Adzigodi, Dennis Narterh

Black Friday At Kumasi

; A Day Of Shame For Ghana Football


BY: Dennis Narterh Adzigodi.

Friday 1st June 2012 will forever remain Ghana’s biggest day of shame in Association Football. Not even five, ten nor even fifteen minutes but for barely an hour of total darkness at the Kumasi Babayara sports stadium. Oh my God! It’s just too shameful.

It beats my imagination if still in the 20th century a country like Ghana that can boast of numerous electrical engineers cannot work around a common Generator switch fault in less than thirty minutes.

So my questions are, does the Kumasi and the other stadia not having a spare switches at the time of the incident?

Two, does all these stadia not having standby electrical engineers during important matches?

Or was it a deliberate attempt by some people to sabotage the Black coach Akwasi Appiah? which I doubt any way.

On that “Black Friday” we all thought once again it was the Electricity Company of Ghana at its best again but surprisingly it was just a switch fault. “Wao”! How can this happen in a country like Ghana with all these technical expertise it can boast of. You see, it all comes down to our poor cultural of maintenance of Government properties. I don’t even know how often the sports council services these plants at all the four major stadia in the country.
Just imagine how long it took the sports council to repair the Accra Sports stadium scoreboard. Thank God the Green glass technology, a private firm is responsible for the maintenance of the pitches. If left in the hands of the sports council your guess will be as good as mine as to how these pitches might even look like. It can look like the Sahara Desert.
Even though we all admit to the fact that what happened last Friday at Kumasi was a technical problem that can happen to any country around the globe which needs not to be criticised too much, but what I think must be look at is the rate at which future technical problems that might arise be tackled within a less possible time.

Although the Essipong Stadium was the first to experience a Black out during the CAN 2008, for me once again I think the Friday black out must be another wakeup call to the sports council to put their structures in place and to do all the necessary servicing on all the plants that power the flood lights at all the major stadia in the country before major matches are played to avoid this embarrassment that the nation has suffered.

The sports council must also take a look at the bolts and knots at the Accra sports Stadium and the other stadia to avoid unforeseen disaster since my observations show that some of the knots are already getting rusted.
But in all, thanks to the FIFA rule which allows the game to continue after waiting for over fifty minutes of total darkness. Indeed it was Ghana’s biggest day of shame in association football. What happened last Friday must never repeat itself again in the history of our game.
The media must also play its part by asking relevant questions concerning the maintenance of these stadia before important matches and stop lambasting the Sports Council after the problem have already occurred. How many television stations have taken it upon them to carry a documentary on the state of the four major stadia in the country after the completion of the CAN 2008 tournament till date?

Lest before I forget, did you know that we couldn’t even play our national Anthem before the start of the Black Queens – Cameroun match at the Accra Sports Stadium in the women qualifying match recently? You might not know because we pay less attention to women football in Ghana. But seriously, it calls for a thorough and routine maintenance of these facilities so as to avoid future embarrassment for our beloved country Ghana.

In the match itself, Mr. Akwasi Appiah proved all his critics wrong by a huge 7-0 score line margin something the previous expatriates even failed to do, a clear indication that a black man is capable of handling his own affairs although he has a match on hand against the current Africa champions, Zambia coming Saturday.

The day also brought into the lime light a certain Christian Atsu Tswasam who scored on his debut for the stars. I can now boast of the future of the Black stars with Coach Akwasi Appiah. The boys on the day played their heart out for their coach “We want to win for the coach. Before the match we all planned to play our heart out and win for him because we love our local coach” midfielder Agyemang Badu revealed in an exclusive interview with Sena Radio in Ashaiman after spelling Lesotho in the last Friday world cup qualifying encounter at Kumasi.

Akwasi Appiah did very well because these boys have played under three different expatriate coaches within the last six years and bringing them together to play in a well-rehearsed game plan was a plus for him. Although many would argue that Ghana played against a weaker opposition, for me I think Akwasi Appiah has passed the test. And my numerous calls for a local coach have finally been answered and together with coach Appiah we would silence our critics.
However my only disappointment about the game on Friday was Samuel Inkoom “Ayebida”.Although he played very well on that “Black Friday”, all his crosses from the right side of attack were very poor. Even Daniel Opare could not even help. For Akwasi Appiah I think this is the right time for him to look out for natural right winger to fill in the gap. Although I will not like to talk about Laryea Kingston, he has been one of the best right wingers Ghana has produced in recent years and I will urge Coach Akwasi to work on the right side of our attack.

However my only advice to my highly favoured Akwasi Appiah is that, he should try as much as possible to feature the local players in his subsequent matches to boost the morale of the players who are playing in our local leagues.
In fact all the players on the day played very well with Derick Boateng proving why in the late 90s and early 2000 he plays ahead of Michael Essien in the midfield. Kojo Asamoah was also at his best of performance not to talk about our stand in captain, Sulley Ali Mutare. It was just a day of showcase of typical Ghanaian soccer. For Sulley I think he deserves the Captainship for now, who knows this might transform him from his “Bad boy” tag that he is known of.
And to Kelvin Prince Boateng, Michael Essien and Asamoah “Baby Jet” Gyan as he is popularly called, as I wrote in my previous articles that they would one day come back knocking at the door steps of the Black Stars, the right time has just started with two of Ghana’s “Baby” strikers; Dominic Adiyah and Jordan Ayew scoring two each in one game something Asamoah could not do in many of stars matches he has featured for. The midfield is now as solid as rock. The guy I call Ghana’s Lionel Messi, Christian Atsu has also on the day scored a “Messi –like” goal which proves that we are gradually solving our goal scoring problems. Asamoah Gyan can now afford to even add more months to his leave period.
Finally, I will urge all Ghanaians to put what happened last Friday behind us and let’s focus our attention to the Zambia game and give the boys all the necessary support. Let’s also not politicise issues as Korku Anyidoho did out of frustration which is typical of every Ghanaian whenever problem erupts. Anyway, it just shows the love that we all have for our beloved country Ghana.

Long live Ghana Football, Long Live Africa sports!

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