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Diasporian News of Thursday, 15 July 2010

Source: Sandow Seidu Kpebu/ GFM Radio, London

Strengthening Diplomatic Ties through Football

...Ghanaians are colourful people say Germans

By Sandow Seidu Kpebu, London

The Ghana High Commission in collaboration with the German Embassy in London organised a special event where Ghanaians and Germans were invited to the residence of the German Ambassador to watch the match between Ghana and Germany in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 23rd June 2010.

The event was attended by the Deputy High Commissioner to UK Mrs Elizabeth Nicol, Deputy German Ambassador, Dr Eckhard Lubkemeier, the head of Consular at the Ghana High Commission, Alhaji Bawah Ayambila, staff of the High Commission and the German Embassy, members of both Ghanaian and German communities in UK.

The Deputy German Ambassador to the UK, Dr. Eckhard Lubkemeier, described football as a global uniting force more than just rivalry on the pitch. This was contained in his remarks before the match between Germany and Ghana at the world cup in South Africa.

He observed that “football... is the only truly global sport and it is more than a sport. It’s the only global sport that unites people across all boundaries. Because for true friend, football is about rivalry on the pitch and making friends off the pitch, and that is why we are here tonight.”

In her part, Mrs Elizabeth Nicol, Ghana’s Deputy High Commissioner to the UK, reiterated the importance of football in strengthening the cordial relations among people, professions and countries.

She said “what we are witnessing here is a manifestation of the good relations between Ghana and Germany. We have this relation for a long time and as my colleague said, football is not just a game, it is also a bond of friendship for many professions; between us; between nations and between all other.”

The event was an opportunity for both Germans and Ghanaians to interact and celebrate the long standing Diplomatic relations between Ghana and Germany dating back several decades. Germany has over the years supported Ghana in many projects through the Gtz.

Ghanaians proudly displayed Ghanaian paraphernalia and treated themselves to highlife music with their German counterparts. It was also a night that the national pride was on display which attracted the Germans, and for a moment everyone forgot about the outcome of the match between Ghana and Germany, which the Germans on 1-0.

The highlight of the evening was when the German took to the floor to dance to the Ghanaian highlife music, mostly with a Ghanaian counterpart, and also in celebration for the two countries qualifying to the one sixteenth stage of the tournament.

The German Ambassador acknowledged the success of the night Ghana played Germany and the bond of friendship it generated between Ghanaians and Germans in London, and therefore invited the staff of the Ghana High Commission and some Ghanaians back to his residence to watch the Germans play England.