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Diasporian News of Monday, 19 June 2006

Source: Emmanuel K. Asiedu

Ghana Flag Gets Thumb High In Beirut

Red, gold and green with black star, the Ghana national flag is receiving thumbs high and is fast getting recognition on the streets of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, after the national team, the Black Stars? crushing defeat over Fifa?s number two ranked team, the Czech Republic on Saturday June 17, in Cologne.

The Ghanaian community here in Lebanon celebrates with joyful spirits this glorious victory of their national team over the Czech Republic in their second match in the 2006 Soccer World Cup Tournament. ?We salute with great respect and admiration the players and officials of the Black Stars whose committed effort has brought pride and smiles not only on the faces of Ghanaians, but also on the whole of the African continent,? said a group of Ghanaians who gathered at a house in Mtaileb, a suburb of Beirut on Sunday June 18, to celebrate their nation?s victory.

But perhaps the community?s most profound gratitude goes to their father and Consul H.E Mr. Michel Haddad for his genuine and great support for the national team. H.E Michel Haddad donated on behalves of the Consulate and the Community a reasonable amount of cash as was the cases of other Ghanaian communities worldwide in support of the national team during their preparation towards this great tournament. And not only that, His Excellency also took it upon himself, to provide the community with over two hundred flags in different sizes making sure that the red, gold and green with the black star finds its appropriate place among many other flags hovering on cars and on balconies in the country.

Lebanese national team, though yet to qualify for an international football tournament, such as the world cup, the people are great fans of such events. A visitor quickly recognizes this by the display of flags on cars and on buildings in support of participating teams. Sadly though, you hardly find any for participating African countries.

Perhaps the poor performances of the African teams could best explain the reason why the business minded Lebanese would not invest his time and money on them. But the Black Stars? outstanding performance on June 17 is helping change the general perception here. A win over USA on Thursday 22 will make a great impact.

Shortly after the final whistle of the match, H.E. Mr. Michel Haddad was showered with SMS messages and phone calls wishing him congratulations for the simple reason that he showed a genuine interest and support for the success of the national team. He met with some members of the community on the afternoon of Sunday 18, to give them more flags. According to him, he has ordered two hundred more flags to be shared for the community.

Together with him, the community hopes and prays that the elated spirit of the Black Stars will continue to bring great victories to Ghana and Africa as a whole. Long live Black Stars, long live Ghana, and long live Africa!!!