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Sports Features of Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Source: Adomako, Appiah Kusi

Black Stars Deserves Commendation

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall --Confucius

The senior national team the Black Stars have made Ghana proud. They have given us a publicity which money and diplomatic lobbying cannot buy. They have united Ghanaians and awakened the sense of nationalism among us. Today most of us are more Ghanaians now than we were before. In fact, the whole of Africa was Ghanaian on 27th June, 2006. We now adorn our national flag instead of the British Union Jack or the USA flag.

They have given us something which our politicians could not give us. From the streets of Kumasi, Accra, Tamale or London or New York, Ghanaians can now walk with their chests out.

The journey from Ouagadougou to Dortmund has been exciting. They have proved to the doubting Thomases and fearful Pharisees wrong. Many were those who thought, in their default thinking that the stars would only play three matches in the World Cup. They have proved all of them wrong. Even the German Embassy thought that Ghana would eliminated in the first round and by so doing issued most visas to Ghanaian fans to cover only the preliminary stages.

Black Stars entered the stage of world soccer just for the first time, and they played their parts exceedingly well. They confronted the Italians, managed to beat FIFA number two the Czech Republic and also defeated the United States of America. What is so glorious about the Stars is that they lost to Brazil which is deemed to be the best football nation in the world. Even, by statistics, the Stars outplayed the Brazilians. Bad officiating and the fear that should Ghana beat Brazil the commerce part of Germany 2006 would be affected might have caused the referee to stoop low Now the curtain falls; they move through the exit, defeated but not disappointed. Even, FIFA admitted that should Ghana have defeated the Brazilians then the whole business of the World Cup would have come to a halt.

Ghana has more records to celebrate. Ghana was the first African nation to win its independence; the first African nation to have qualified for the 2006 World Cup; the first African nation to have won a match in the 2006 World Cup and also the only African nation to have moved beyond the first stage of the 2006 World Cup. This is a record which we must be proud of. Although we are out of the tournament our soul is rested. The victory of Brazil over Ghana must be like knives that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. We must take it by the handle. The players, the coach and technical team have all done well. The government of Ghana must also be applauded. We need to groom the players for 2010 World Cup in South Africa and other tournaments. We need to move from fountains of high sounding political oratories and be committed to the development of a formidable national team, which will be the star of Africa.

The progress of football in this country would not move on the wheels of inevitability. We must invest in soccer and other sporting disciplines. Like tourism, the prospect is great but our government delights in making lofty speeches and promises without making any concrete investment. For this to go on the Ghana Football Association (GFA) must identify all the obstacles impeding the progress of soccer in this country especially at the senior and a concerted effort be made to solve them. Again, corruption which has seeped into our league system through matching fixing and ticket racketeering must also be exposed and dealt with. As Ghana prepares to welcome the Stars home, we should celebrate our heroes for they have made us proud. There should be a national programme that would allow our heroes to visit all the regional capitals so that every Ghanaian can salute them. We need more Ghana flags for school children to wave as the Stars buses pass by. This is would inject a high dose of nationalism among Ghanaians.

I would also want to propose that Government of Ghana name streets, roads and avenues in all the regional and district capitals called BLACK STARS 2006 ROAD, BLACK STARS 2006 STREET, BLACK STARS 2006 AVENUE in honour of the gallant performance by the Stars. Ghana Post can also issue commemorative postal stamps in honour of our gallant stars.

The coach should be maintained and a new contract be signed for him to prepare us for future tournaments. Black Stars, you have done well. We salute you!

Appiah Kusi Adomako is an international freelance writer and the president of the Ghana Chapter of Leaders of Tomorrow Foundation. www.leaders-of-tomorrow-inc.come e-mail:

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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