In Ghana there a lot of outdoor games. Ampe is one. Football or Soccer is another.
The difference between the two outdoor games is the number of people involved in the game.
In the game of Ampe, there are two or more girls on each side. These girls play the game of ampe by jumping and clapping their hands rhythmically and twisting their feet skillfully.
There is a part of the game of ampe where a girl who has flawed turns her back to another girl for a knee-kick. This is called in Ga aashinagbu .
However in a game of football twenty-two players – eleven on each side chase one round leather called football.
A goal is scored when the round leather is hit hard to beat another player who is keeping the ball from entering the goal post.
Now to the purpose of this article. Football or soccer is guided by rules and regulations. It is these rules that regulate the actions of the people involved in the game.
This is done because the game involves human beings whose tempers, actions, inactions and intent are unpredictable.
After watching the crunching one hour thirty-four minutes semi-final UEFA Champions League between Chelsea and Barcelona, I saw something that looked like the rules of ampe has been applied in the game of football.
Initially, this game looked like a tall mountain for Chelsea to climb. It was not an easy task to go get a draw or a win over Barcelona at their own backyard.
Well this is football. And it happened. Chelsea got a draw. Yes a draw after John Terry did the unthinkable – he knee-kicked Sanchez of Barcelona.
How can Terry do that? What was he thinking? How can you knee-kick a fellow player?
In every human endeavour, there are rules that should govern the actions of the human beings involved.
At the venue where I was watching the game, there were those who thought that the referee was harsh in showing John Terry a red card. Others – Barcelona fans thought John Terry deserved the red card.
All argued out, I was of the view that he deserved a red card. That is my stand.
Well it is not even about my view. It is about the rules that govern the game.
The knee-kick Terry issued out to Sanchez is known as aashinagbu in ampe- a game in Ghana.
The game of football should be played with each side enjoying not enduring hard tackles. The game should be admired by all – losers included.
Applications of the rules should not be skewed to benefit others. Instead it should be applied to every Tom, Dick and Harry.
When John Terry was shown the exit for an early shower, I thought Barcelona had won the day. Little had I forgotten that, though the numbers count, tactics, determination and the attitude to utilise chances define the game of football.
Ramires did the common thing but not common to all players. He scored a goal. A goal that gave his side the opportunity to stay in the game.
A good goal by all standards. That is soccer for you. One minute you are on the winning side. The next minute you are running from one end of the field to the other so that you could turn the tide.
One interesting thing about soccer is how feverish it can be. Only a good game with goals of course from the team you support can heal a fan.
People across the globe would continue to argue about the history that has been made.
In Ghana, from the streets of Wa in the Upper West Region to the southern border town of Aflao in the Volta Region, from Half Asini in the Western Region to Bawku in the Upper East Region and from the streets of Hohoe in the Volta Region to that of Kwamekrom in the Brong Ahafo Region, there would be arguments and counter arguments on who has won and lost most.
This is the love Ghanians have for soccer. Just for the love of it. That is why every little space in any nook and cranny of the towns and villages in Ghana see no rest on Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays and worse of all is when schools are on holidays.
Felicitation Monsieur Fernando Torres! He put Chelsea through to the final. Better luck Barcelona.
A man who was quarreling with his wife told the on-lookers anyone who knows this woman should tell her that I will beat the hell out of her if she does not keep quiet.
Similarly, anyone who knows John Terry should tell him that the knee-kick is not allowed in football but it is allowed in ampe- a game played by girls in Ghana, West Africa to be precise.
Alex Blege is a freelance journalist who writes about the day to day activities of people and the rural folk.
Blog address: www.gudzetsekomla.blogspot.com