By my estimation I believe half of the town was excited at the exit of the national team from the African cup of nations after they lost 2 nil to the indomitable lions of Cameroon . I also believe this excitement was echoed in many cities and towns across the country – my social media timelines lends credence to this. I never knew Ghana had a sizable support base for the Cameroon national team . Because when it comes to football tournament or competitions, I’ve mostly encountered Nigerian football bans with the exception of few other countries .
The loud noise that greeted the first Cameroonian goal left me in wonder . I was left in two worlds .Such loud excitement is mainly for the support base of the black stars . It was unexpected and I just did not understand why almost probably half the population would be cheering for the opposing team . But I would soon know the deep political divide that has pervaded the national landscape of the country is real and perhaps will stay for a long time .
The Ghana black stars have enjoyed major support compared to other sport disciplines in the country . In fact huge amounts of monies are pumped into the team whenever any international tournament or friendly match comes up . The team is considered the pride of the country until 2014 Brazil World Cup debacle all faded into obscurity. The support base they seem to enjoy diminished within the shortest period of time . Football fans accused the team of greed and unpatriotism . This was because of the outstanding payment the football association was suppose to make to the players before or after every game . This culminated in fisticuffs where Sule Muntari , one of the key players in the team to assault a member of the team’s management committee. Regardless of the truth , this seem to have alienated some fans from supporting the team . Some even vowed never to have anything to do with the team .
This disaffection will go on to affect the national team’s relationship with their largest support base – the good people of Ghana.However to cheer for the opposing country seemed new to me although not out of the ordinary.
This new trend was according to many people I’ve spoken was because some key players in the team had promised to win the cup for the president , Nana Akuffo-Addo . They argued that players shouldn’t have made those comment since the black stars is a national team and belongs to the people .Hence promising to win it for the president is in a way aligning to his political cause and the glory should be the team winning the cup.Other groups of people also claim the Stars had refused payment terms with the football authorities and refused to speak to him when he tried to intervene in the Brazil debacle.They believe the players were against the ex president hence their refusal to speak to him due to the delay in the payment of their appearance fees .
Whatever the case was, being patriotic has nothing to do party politics. Therefore using that as basis to wish the team ill luck or want them eliminated is the very definition of unpatriotism. It doesnt matter which president or party is in power.When the team is playing, they play for Ghana. If we have issues with the players lets deal with them separately and not use partisan affiliation to justify your opposition of the team. When the team brings glory to the country, it wont be a glory for the NPP or the NDC but a national one. Aside the individual credit that goes to the coach, players and management members, we as citizens get to share in the pride of our flag flying high. It’s about time we quit such retrogressive behaviors and attitudes in the name of politics and whatever bitterness we might feel towards the team or the government that is in power during such tournaments. We should remind ourselves that we have only one nation to rally behind to achieve success which will reflect in our welbeing that will correlate to economic, social and political stability.