Sports Features of Friday, 12 July 2013

Source: kwame anane

GFA Logo is Omitted on Black Satellites Goalkeeper Shirts

Shock as Official GFA Logo is Omitted on Black Satellites Goalkeeper Shirts

A disappointing oversight by the Black Satellites management team has ensured that Ghana U20 goalkeepers have been issued with; and represented Ghana in official match jerseys without the registered GFA logo.

Both Eric Antwi and Michael Sai who have so far made appearances for the team have instead been seen wearing the generic Puma Africa template goalkeeper shirts; with no specific Ghana national identifications. In contrast, the entire outfield playing squad have played in the official Ghana national football kit; complete with the GFA logo.

Meanwhile, FIFA’s equipment regulations clearly state in section 4.1 that ‘Each component of the Playing Equipment must be worn consistently by all Players of the same representative team and must be produced consistently by the same Manufacturer’.

It is therefore puzzling to work out how and why the GFA and Puma have allowed such gross negligence to continue for all of Ghana’s six games so far at the tournament. The importance of the association’s emblem on national team shirts is further emphasised in section 10.4 where FIFA specifically states that: ‘Identifications (emblems) of Member Associations may be printed; embroidered or sewn on as a badge….and shall be attached permanently to the Playing Equipment (the jersey)’.
FIFA is yet to make an official comment on the issue, but no fines or sanctions are expected.
In modern football, image is everything and therefore the matter of how Ghana is represented in official matches is very important. The national shirt with the association’s logo is a powerful tool that can project the image of the nation far and wide.
Would Puma have supplied the team’s kits for a FIFA sanctioned tournament without properly checking that all components of the apparels are acceptable and professional? Did the GFA notice the issue but decided to turn a blind eye? Regardless of the official response from the GFA or Puma, this should not have happened at all in the first place.
Would an England player ever represent his country wearing a shirt without the three Lions badge? There you go!
The keeper’s jersey is usually different from that of the main team – and the one most important thing that makes these particular Puma templates distinctively a Ghana shirt is the GFA logo. How odd must it feel to stand alongside your team mates; representing your country; and whilst all of them bear the national emblem, you are left out! Thus spare a thought for goalkeepers Antwi, Sai and Ofori who have really been let down.
There should be a higher expectation of excellence and professionalism from people tasked with how Ghana is represented in such international events. Hopefully, their bonuses and per diems are paid for such purposes and not just for turning up at tournaments in ‘official capacities’.
Since Ghana’s partnership with Puma in 2005, all the national teams have been well kitted out and so it is very disappointing to see such negligence. Sadly it brings back memories of CAN 2002 in Mali when Goalkeeper Sammy Adjei had to write a name and number at the back of his shirt with a black masking tape! Of course Sammy Kuffour complained and was sent home from tournament for being ‘too known’.
Also, at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, a Stephen Appiah led Black Meteors team was forced to use plain yellow Nike shirts for their matches. This was after the IOC and FIFA rejected the lotto manufactured Ghana shirts registered by the GFA, for not meeting tournament specifications!

The performances of the Black Satellites in this year’s FIFA U20 World Cup have borne all the marks of belief, national pride and patriotism. They have defended and continue to uphold Ghana’s proud tradition in international football. How unfortunate is it to observe that even one of these gallant players would be denied the opportunity to project his Ghanaian identity by proudly bearing the logo of his national association on his chest!
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Iraq, the Black Satellites are expected to quickly dust off the disappointment against France and bring the curtains down on yet another impressive campaign with a good performance, rewarded with bronze medals.