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Sports Features of Monday, 15 December 2003

Source: Felix Abayateye

100 Years Of What?

A committee has been set up to draw up a programme for the commemoration of 100 years of football in Ghana. As a country with a profound passion for football, it is natural that 100 years of the introduction of the game should be looked back at with nostalgia. However, we are at a loss as to whether the celebration, which could be elaborate by all standards, is necessary at all, given the present state of our football.

There will be nothing wrong with a low profile celebration that will capture the road we have travelled over the last 100 years. Anything in excess is what we find unacceptable. At a time when our football is suffering from lack of direction, what we need is a re-appraisal of strategies geared towards turning our game around.

This year’s league, certainly one of the most troubled in our history, has suffered many hiccups, including the controversial deduction of points from some teams and crediting others with them.

As at now, the final league table has not been relased because of the controversy, a situation that has left people wondering how the relegation exercise is going to be carried out. With the reported change of mind on the part of German coach Ralf Zumdick, the Black Stars are back to square one as far as the team’s coaching problem is concerned.

It’s been said over and over again that the Black Stars are racing against time with regard to qualification for the 2006 World Cup. It’s imperative, therefore, that the void created by Zumdick’s departure is filled without any delay.

We reiterate our view that the FA got off to a wrong move in the first place by offering Zumdick a three-month contract. The German definitely would have felt more secure in terms of job security with a longer contract.

In all candour, we think the time and resources to be used on the celebration will better be spent when they are committed to our World Cup campaign. Maybe after we have realised the World Cup dream that has remained elusive all these years, we can then think of some kind of celebration.

For now, the mood is not that for celebration.

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