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18.02.2009 Feature Article

IS GHANAIAN SOCCER EQUIVALENT TO DEATH?

Three basic truths about our soccer, I mean Ghanaian soccer are as follows:

We like soccer
We enjoy soccer and
We fully participate in it.
These are truths that are startling and worth appreciating. And it makes me feel great to be part of this great soccer nation. Mind you am not a soccer –maniac, possibly on the pendulum am more tilted to the side of soccer-phobians; Hey get me right, am not a support of Hearts of Oak.

But one thing without doubt I enjoy about soccer is the uniting power of the game. I enjoy watching not soccer but the reactions of spectators. Some of them play full ninety minutes with their legs, head, chest and hands reflexively. And woe betides you if you happen to stand in front of such spectators, you will find yourself not being kicked as a football but in fact bouncing in the net as a result of a kick. Not only in the stadia do you find these, even at home behind screens you find people who are reflexively and electronically connected to the ball. And for such people to watch soccer at home safely without casualties like throwing, kicking or heading the TV set, one must guard the TV set with a burglar-proof and tether them to a heavy chair.

I must admit that I have never to gone to a stadium to watch soccer, but I have always watched soccer through the ambassadors of Soccer. Depending which team won they are either 'over-appetited' or 'below-appetited'. Yet must I sit down unconcerned about what soccer it turning out to be? By no means!

If you were lost with me, then you have been found with me. From May 9th Tsunami via Essipong Katrina to Baba Yara disaster, the trend of Ghanaian soccer isn't moving forward in the right direction [no politics here ooh]. As a country we can't afford to caption any clash of titans like Kotoko and Hearts of Oak as a Pogrom of Soccer-Fidels. Tofiakwa! Why should there be first degree anarchy when people expect to have first degree excitement? We can't go on like this.

Sounding disappointed? Surely, I am, very disappointed with the stadium authorities. For only one reason, surely they all know the capacity of each stadium and as such I find it difficult to imagine a congested stadium. Surely if the capacity of Baba Yara is 40,000 the printed tickets should be 40, 000 and nothing more than 40,000 should be sold. This was the case in Essipong, the stadium was packed while hundreds of spectators with valid tickets were still trooping to the stadium. The initial reports about the Baba Yara disaster were that the stadium was allegedly over-packed.

As a skeptic, I wonder if the revenue accrued from football matches ever indicates over packed statistics. Surely, if the person is religious, the statistics will be exact the capacity and if not, the statistics will be below the capacity. As a skeptic, I pose further question; where do the accounts of the excess tickets go? Surely not in my pockets.

Our soccer is liked, enjoyed and fully participated yet am smelling rat along the periphery. It seems some people [don't ask me who for they know themselves] intentionally over print and over sell the tickets to boost the id of their pockets. And in so doing, convert our stadia into Nazi-Concentration camps and then offer soccer-maniacs as Holocaust. Should that be the case? Never!

Sounding a bit unforgiving, I will appeal to the President of Ghana not even GFA, to always sack of the people whose work is connected to the management of the stadium. Am sure if this becomes an untainted tradition authorities will learn the lesson that 'everyday-little-chop is better than one-day-big-chop'. Ghanaian soccer seemingly is being equated to death but it should never happen. Our Soccer is our game, our soccer is our joy and our soccer is our spirit therefore let no one temper with the smooth-flow of the Ghanaian soccer. For to temper with our soccer is tantamount to Willfully Causing Exciting Loss to the State. Mr. President do something.

Yirpaale Sondah

Yirpaale Sondah
Yirpaale Sondah, © 2009

This author has authored 16 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: YirpaaleSondah

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