Saturday, July 3, 2010

Brave Ghana gone graciously – Thank you for your support

I have been sitting by my laptop for four hours, doing next to nothing and thinking about how to start this. First, I have never, in all the years of living in this country seen a Saturday when the nation has been so… QUIET. That silence, I believe, is deafening. But I will try…
The name Ghana means Warrior King and I am sure yesterday, our boys were exactly that: Warrior Kings.

Yes, we had the chance to make heady history and fluffed it. But when people let out all the anger, all the hurt and all the emotion, they would realize one thing:
Ghana has regained its place as the absolute master of African football.
Forget that Egypt have won six African Nations Cup titles. After all we have won four.
Nigeria? Senegal? Cameroon? Ivory Coast?
They are big, but Ghana has done something it is noted for doing in other spheres of life: we have united the continent in ways that you cannot imagine.
Where do I begin?
They started South Africa 2010 on the back of two weak showings in friendlies against Holland (lost 4-1) and Latvia (won unconvincingly).
Weeks down the line, they were on the verge of the semi-finals and narrowly lost out. What that makes them?
I refuse to hear the condemnations against the penalty-takers, they fought so hard and breathed their last at the death.
They deserve every credit, for a team whose second time it is in the World Cup. We have been very young, ambitious and willing.
That combination has been rare in this World Cup, especially among the so-called favorites who have been nothing but s#*t…
Even in all my anger at what he did in the final moments of extra-time, my journalism training forces me to put myself in his shoes and look at things from a Uruguayan perspective.
He did what he had to do and as his coach Oscar Tabarez said:
“I think it was instinctive, he instinctively put his hand out and he was sent off. What else do you want us to do with him? This is football. There were consequences to that handball, and when Suárez did it he did not know that Gyan would miss.”
True. Gyan was given a chance. And missed. Simple.
There is strong anti-Black Stars sentiments in certain quarters because of the loss. But after all is said and done, I know people are, deep down, proud of the guys.
And rightly so.
When they get to the Kotoka International Airport, this is what we MUST do:
1) Get there in choking numbers in the red, gold, black and green.
2) Scream till your brains go for lunch
3) Make them feel that they have given their all.
4) Give them a reason to do it again in the soon-to-come qualifiers, the CHAN, the AFCON 2012, the London Olympics and 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
After they return and we have accepted our fate, then we will look at the immediate and long-term future.
Till then, how can we express our gratitude for the overwhelming support that most of you have given us?
These past few weeks, Ghana has felt like the most beautiful girl in the village: pampered, wanted and coveted.
Wasting words is useless, but believe us when we say: thank you!
We’ll be back
Just like we built this team brick by brick, player by player to what it is, so would we continue.
The best of Ghana is yet to come.
Till then,

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