The recent FIFA world cup soccer drawings which include Italy, Czech Republic, USA and Ghana in group E should be considered the best thing about to happen to Ghana. It must not be deemed a big task that cannot be overcome. While drawings put enormous pressure on the players, the Black Stars can excel regardless. The games have not been played and we must not be defeated before the battle. With a great sound mind, confidence, unity, dedication and the will to win, The fabulous Black Stars will go down in history as having to do the unthinkable. We have to the talent to show the world we are not afraid of anyone. The Italians and the Czechs sound impressive, we are not afraid to stand up to them. Whoever thought Abedi Pele will leave a mark in French soccer? whoever thought Michael Essien will be the highest paid African soccer player in the world? Whoever thought Ghana will be the talk of the moment? This is the test for Coach Doya to show what he has for the world and our players to demonstrate their talent for the billions of soccer fans to show what Ghana to offer. Our excellence at the world cup will see many soccer scouts flooding the shores of Ghana in search of the next Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari or Stephen Appiah. Our excellence will see the production of many documentaries showcasing the places of births of these greats.
We understand clearly that Czech Republic, USA and Italy are ranked 2nd, 8th, and 12th respectively in the world, whilst Ghana, ranked 50th, the lowest in the group but that is just a record of their current standing. The Americans and the Europeans may not be going to the tournament with the impression that they are going to easily defeat Ghana, but should they enter the event with an air of superiority, Ghana will certainly have something in store for them. The Italians can boast of some of the greatest players the world has ever known, but Ghana's hearts and minds are in the “right place” and may eventually prevail in a fashion similar to David's victory over Goliath. The Black Stars can win any match with strong determination, unyielding discipline, and a powerful sense of unity or team work. The players must maintain the great chemistry developed in the past year, follow instructions put in place by the coach and must avoid being distracted by individual egos. Ghana's confidence and winning mentality should be upheld in Germany with the flying red, gold and green colors. I applaud the confidence that President John Kufuor has shown in Ghana's formidable team of Essien, Muntari, Appiah and the rest of our heroes to get the job done in Germany. A piece of advise to the players: whenever they are on the field, they should think of how far they have come and be inspired by Roger Miller, Oppong Weah and Abedi Pele, our African brothers and heroes. Whoever thought Cameroon will beat Argentina 1-0 at the 1990 World cup in Italy? At the age of 38, Roger Milla who left the spotlight and retired to play for JS Saint-Pierroise, a team of modest abilities on Reunion Island, came out of retirement and left a memorable mark on the Italian World Cup, propelling Cameroon into the quarterfinals. Cameroon played an excellent tournament, beating Argentina with only 9 players when the ref blew the final whistle and losing bravely by 3-2 to England, after leading 2-1 with ten minutes to go. Cameroun left a lasting impression on many people around the world. Cameroon's qualification for the quarter finals in the 1990 edition promoted FIFA to increase the number of African teams in the World Cup from two to three. Ghana is going to be the Cameroun of Germany 2006.
WE ARE SAYING TO OUR OPPONENTS, BRING IT ON BECAUSE WE ARE READY, WILLING AND ABLE TO "KICK YOUR BUTTS".
GREAT EXPOSURE FOR GHANA
The great thing about the drawing with USA in the group is that tens of millions of soccer fans in the United States and billions worldwide will be watching the great skills of our players. ESPN, which often shows NBA, NFL, MBL, ABL, NHL and other sports in the United States, will certainly broadcast the event to millions of Americans. Those who have or have not heard about Ghana in the United States will now have the opportunity to learn a little about the first black African country to successfully wrest political power from European powers, a peaceful nation now brimming with a budding democracy, a relatively stable economy, and a growing information technology industry. Ghana's success in Germany 2006 will bolster the country's tourism industry. The Discovery documentary on Ghana recently aired on the Travel Channel should be broadcasted again on ESPN to woo visitors and investors. If Ghana beats the USA, it will be something many Americans will never forget, having built a formidable soccer team in the last 10 years.
This writer is part of the Ghanaian/American contingent in the United States, getting ready to storm Germany come June 2006. We are going to showcase the golden and rich Ghanaian culture to the world. The kente, fugu and others are part of what are going to get the spotlight. Ghana's participation at the World Cup will set the stage for the 2007 Joseph Project which has already attracted a lot of attention. The project managers plan a comprehensive marketing and promotional campaign. The project should be spotlighted so many African Americans who have not heard about it will plan for it.
The 2006 World Cup is going to be a memorable moment and regardless of the outcome, the Black Stars are heroes in our books who have worked exceptionally hard to get to where they are now. The opening ceremony is going to be superb, so START MAKING YOUR TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS AND DON'T WAIT TILL THE LAST MIINUTE.