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Opinions of Sunday, 17 March 2013

Columnist: Akaho, Felix Junior

“When the unifier fails us,

* what then becomes of our fate?” the prayer of a sports fanatic.*

Successive elections over this short period of the nation Ghana upholding to the principles of democracy has polarized the nation more than ever though other significant feats have been achieved that is worth noting. One do not have to undertake any scientifically proven experiment to ascertain this fact. Elections 2012 and its aftermath rather of a sort has worsen this sadden turn of events.

But no matter the level of enmity that comes with politics, the power of sports (football) nullifies it. When its power takes grip of the nation, even the Ashanti and the ewe man conclusively and in the spirit of oneness agree on issues. There is no flying of party flags nor its complementary party paraphernalia. The whole nation sings a common tune and aims at a common good. Recently, it was widely rumored from nowhere that, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo and our Hon President, John Dramani Mahama affectionately referred to as JM, were seen chit chatting their hearts out at nowhere after our only BLACK STARS pipped the underdogs, Cape Verde, at the just ended cup of nations in South Africa. Just for fun, but notwithstanding, the power of football can do more than this. Football indisputably have become the nation’s unifier even after the destructive claws of politics separates us.

But the recent trend of events that have characterized the management of the nation’s number one unifier (football) obviously has sent minds pondering ceaselessly. The Ayew’s going on self-imposed indefinite retirement for very obvious but unknown reasons, others calling for the head of the Coach of the nation’s senior national team, other’s insubstantively accusing him of not being the “MAN” at the helm of affairs, Asamoah Gyan definitely has gotten his fair share of the insults and the shallow accusations. No matter the efforts he puts up to help the nation team, majority seem not appreciate him, and the worse of it all, the political animals who find themselves at the other side of the political divide are maliciously praying for no significant achievement in terms of football during this particular regime.

These happenings and many known and unknown ones leaves those of us who do not just love football for the fan of it but for the unifying role it plays in bringing the whole nation together asking the question, “When the unifier fails us, what then becomes of our fate?” this has been a question many a Ghanaian like me continue to ask, but with no-one to convincingly answer us.

Come this Sunday, 31, March, 2013, the unifiers are on the battle field with their Sudanese counterparts for World cup ’14 qualifiers. The past is gone and must be put behind us. Let’s us together as a nation in unison forge ahead in prayer and in goodwill rally behind the STARS as they yarn to make the nation proud again. The under 20 team also within this month running into next month would seek to hoist on high the nation’s flag at the African Youth Championship at Algiers, Algeria, when we go on our kneels lets endeavor to seek for the Lord’s favour on their behalf.

Let’s us for a fact admit that when things are moving well for the BLACK STARS, or football in-general in the country, it does not only benefit only a fragment but all and sundry. This is the only period when the airwaves are spared the usual politics of insults, and equally worth noting is the economic gains that comes with it.

I also would cease the opportunity to call on the various stakeholders. Be it supporters, government, the FA, administrators and even footballers to do their possible best in sustaining this national unifier. We should not tolerate any practice that would marred our resolve to getting to the pinnacle with our football. This if done, would forever keep our GHANA going. God bless Ghana and make our football great and strong. When politics divides us, surely, football keeps us glued together as a nation.

AKAHO FELIX JUNIOR

GHANA INSTITUTE OF JOURNALISM LEVEL 100.