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04.02.2010 Feature Article


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After Ghana successfully hosted the best ever MTN African Cup of nation in 2008. The onus was now on Angola to also maintain the high standards, bearing in mind that the World cup will also be happening live in Africa. The 27th Africa Cup of Nations in Angola with an unfortunate event which shocked the whole of Africa, when on the eve of the competition, gunmen opened fire on the Togo team bus in Cabinda, killing two members of the party and injuring a player. I was traumatized, in tears and horror-struck. To begin with I thought the tournament would be delayed but having watched the whole tournament from Docklands campus, I'm delighted it went forward despite the unfortunate incidence.

The event which also shocked me was the fact that the Togolese national team was ban two tournament ban by the Confederation of African football (CAF), Due to the fact that the team were called home by their government, which according to CAF, that act of drawing the team, together with what was termed government interference, led to their decision to ban the Togolese national team. Consideration, sympathy and an accepting of the circumstances would have been approved by all participating team and the world in general. But what happened? The preposterous verdict by CAF to ban a country that is in a state of mourning for breaching the rules was beyond belief taking into account the circumstances. This goes to show the level of football administration in my dear continent.

The previous tournament was dominated by the French and the Spanish based African stars, but for this year, the various football pundits were of the view that the United based prayers were expected to be the stars of this year's tournament. But Drogba could not produce the kind of form he did for Chelsea, scary Adebayo returned to Togo, Essien got injured during a training session, thus the youthful Ghanaian team progressed to the penultimate without their interim captain.

Personally am of the view that Angola 2010 did not meet my expectation, as compared 2008 in Ghana, in requisites of value of football displayed, excitement, mood and attraction but I am of the firm believe that the future looks bright for football in Africa. Thus Africa will continue to lead in the production of quality players for the rest of the world. This means I see my fellow African members lifting the world cup in South Africa.

The most valuable player (MVP) of the tournament indisputably was 25-year-old Mohamed 'Gedo' Nagy of Egypt. The substitution star completed as the tournament's leading scorer with five goals to augment his budding status. It is reported that, top clubs like Manchester City, New Castle United, Fulham, Sunderland and Celtic are said to be interested in signing him.

Ghana's midfielder Kojo Asamoah, 19, is another player I believe could be a success in the Italia League. He plays for Italian club Udinesse at the moment, but top clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal are reported to be interested. The most disappointing country was the Ivorian National team, with all the big names they boasted with, could not even progressed to the semi-finals stage of the tournament. Emmanuel Eboue tackle on a Ghanaian player which resulted in a red card, is the most foolish act have ever seen in a football match.

The most outstanding team in Africa, Egypt, seven times winners of the tournament are unquestionably the most superior country, no surprise they lifted the trophy for a third consecutive time and now keep the trophy for good. Their local coach proved that with consistent tactic approach to the game, you would always be hard to beaten by any team who uses only two weeks to prepare for a tournament.

Finally the team with future promises is surely the Ghanaian youthful squad. This team was able to lift both the under 20 African and the world cup tournament last year. If the Ghana football association should maintain this squad, they would not only break the Egyptian record, but would be a major treat to any country at any future world cup tournament.

Author: Paul Rex Danquah
University of East London

Ekow Danquah
Ekow Danquah, © 2010

The author has 2 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: EkowDanquah

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