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Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng’s AFCON 2024 Diary – 8:Black Stars and the Real Curse – Fish rots from the head

Feature Article Nana Kwasi Gyan-Apentengs AFCON 2024 Diary – 8:Black Stars and the Real Curse – Fish rots from the head
THU, 25 JAN 2024 LISTEN

The Black Stars’ draw against Mozambique felt like not only a loss but also a bad one. Aside from its history and pedigree, the Black Stars are currently at number 66 in the FIFA rankings, and Mozambique is at 111. The Mambas of Mozambique were the superior team on the night. Now, I have overcome my partisan hurt; I must admit that Mozambique was the better team and ought to have won the match outright.

I wanted the Black Stars to win so badly that I was not a football fan on the night. I was a Black Stars supporter. I wanted the Stars to win for Ghana, for themselves, to win to put the naysayers to shame. Above all, I wanted a Black Star win to give Ghanaians something to cheer about. If I am honest, I also wanted to be able to wear my MTN Black Stars shirt a few more times during the tournament. I wanted to be able to give the “against people” the evil eye… I wanted us to win badly.

In retrospect, a loss would have only papered over the gaping cracks in Ghana’s football establishment. Of course, we have been here before; we have taken every horrible result as a wake-up call. We thought we had hit the absolute nadir when we lost to Comoros. Returning from AFCON in the group stage without a single win is terrible enough, but the execrable way we conceded our goals shows that this is more a collection of individuals than a team.

As is often the case, the head coach and his technical team have paid the price. They have been sacked, but as the old saying goes, fish rots from the head. People say that the Black Stars and Ghana have been cursed. I agree with them. We must exorcise the curse or package of curses, which comprises the following afflictions: maladministration, mismanagement, corruption, selfishness, hypocrisy, and greed. Many people say that the Ghana Football Association is the biggest curse laid on our football fortunes over the past few decades. They accuse the football body of operating like a racketeering cabal interested only in its own welfare.

The GFA says it will announce a roadmap, but observers say it is an illusion to expect the people who gave us the old roadmap to provide us with a better one now. Why did they not give the better roadmap the last time? This is a ruse to stay in office and carry on the self-profiting agenda.

The Ghana football curse is real and can be tackled in the natural, touchable world. We have had several committees investigating Ghana football matters. Their recommendations have yet to be implemented, sometimes not even published. Ghana needs not a curse-removal committee but the implementation of best practices and a patriotic mindset across the entire football establishment.

The GFA has failed and must take full responsibility. The state must intervene and take the consequences. It is sad that under this football administration, the national men’s team has become the butt of several unsavoury jokes, but this has gone beyond a joke. The time for action is now.

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