The Picnic Is Over
The signs pointed to a possible early exit of the Black Stars. When it happened therefore, it did not surprise observers following the trouble-laden soccer campaign.
The preparations and everything about the 2014 World Cup tournament were shrouded in the usual drawbacks of mismanagement and abrasive politicisation.
We cannot disagree with those who assert that the Black Stars' story is an apt reflection of Ghana under the current political leadership.
Using two players as scapegoats does not wash. The underlying factors which accounted for the altercations are worth finding out as part of an overhauling process.
One of the damning aspects of our participation in the tournament is the fact that the airlifting of party supporters and other trivialities surpassed the really crucial assignment at hand.
Now that it is all over, the coming days will reveal the can of worms about Ghana in Brazil. The overwhelming shortcomings include the lusty picnics and sharing of the booties, among others.
Yammin, the deputy Youth and Sports minister, it would seem, started it all with his smelly disclosure about government sending mostly NDC supporters to Brazil, enveloping the whole campaign in an inappropriate partisan robe.
That set the tone for what eventually became a disastrous Ghana's participation in a tournament which the Black Stars could have registered an enviable footprint. In the end we only succeeded in making negative headlines on a scale only comparable to Luis Suarez's biting mode.
Last Thursday's soccer disaster represented by our painful ouster from the tournament came at a time when our nation is already saddled with motley challenges - among them a biting shortage of fuel and a mountain of debts around the neck of the State like an albatross.
On Thursday our crude and somewhat medieval method of moving over $3 million to our distressed footballers was played out on Brazilian television and replicated around the world. The Brazilians and the rest of the world relished the theatricals, wondering whether our authorities are oblivious of the reality of electronic transfer of money in minutes in this global village.
The danger the recipients of the large amount of money were exposed to by our incompetent officials could only be imagined.
We ended up becoming a laughingstock of the tournament, and justifiably of course, providing an outside-the-field entertainment – physical movement of more than $3 million, the trading of slaps and the broken-bottle chase, including the purported all-night counting of cash by the beneficiaries of the over $3 million ahead of a crucial engagement.
We are still unable to fathom why the Ghanaian contingent had so many government appointees, including board members and university dons.
President John Mahama has called for a 'post-mortem' of the Black Stars' woes and the concomitant abysmal performance that saw their early exit from the World Cup tournament.
Now that the picnic is over, we join our compatriots who have been calling on the government to ensure that officials who accompanied the team to Brazil account for the tax payers' money that they gleefully benefited from.
Letting them off the hook will always be an incentive for others to also milk the nation.
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