Feature: Election Petition Ruling Poses Threat To Ghana’s Crucial Clash Against Zambia

Posted On Wednesday, 7th August 2013

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan

By Ameenu Shardow

The Supreme Court are to rule on the election petition by September 4 – two days ahead of Ghana’s deciding 2014 World Cup qualifier against Zambia which keeps me wondering; ‘WHAT WILL BE THE EFFECT’ of the ruling on that CRUCIAL GAME?

The election petition is basically the ongoing legal process challenging the legitimacy of President John Mahama after a keenly contested general elections in 2012.

Contesting parties (Petitioners and Respondents) made a summary oral presentation of their filed addresses to the court on Wednesday – after which hearing is adjourned to September 4 (devoid of weekends and unforeseen circumstances).

The court after next week’s hearing have up to a mandatory 15 days to announce their ruling – calculated to fall on September 4 while the Black Stars take to the field for perhaps the most important game at present two days later.

The reality however on the ground is that, whatever the decision be by September 4, that match scheduled to take place in Kumasi will not be a regular routine football game and I will tell you why.

Lead lawyers in Ghana's election petition

Lead lawyers in Ghana’s election petition

The Fans

We are faced with the reality of fans with contrasting moods ahead of the game – that is assuming God forbid; the nation is not turned on its head by then.

Whether the football loving fans in Kumasi who are probably the most politically inclined group of people in Ghana will turn up in their numbers for the game, I cautiously doubt following the massive love they’ve shown to the Black Stars over the years.

With the contesting sides in the petition commanding over 4m of Ghana’s voting population apiece – surely there is bound to be some discontent amongst their supporters of who arguably form the large part of the football public depending on the nature of the verdict.

We also have to look at the approach to the game from a logistical perspective.

Government/Private Sector

With an FA which heavily relies on the central government (which faces potential removal) to hold a home fixture as important as the game against the Chipolopolo poses another serious threat.

Sections of the national leaders and more importantly those who control the national purse will simply not be in the mood to provide within that volatile period – again depending on the nature of the verdict.

Not to talk of people in the private sector and the corporate society who are one way or the other affiliated to one of the contesting groups. Clearly we are faced with a huge challenge of which we ought to begin fashioning ways of addressing.

Ghana Black Stars at a crucial point in World Cup qualification

Ghana Black Stars at a crucial point in World Cup qualification

The Players

The players who will be representing Ghana on that day will certainly not be immune to the emotions and general mood of the country by then. They are an extension of the larger Ghanaian community so not to kid ourselves, they will be affected. This prospect however can be either good or bad depending on the immediate aftermath of the verdict.

Bad

Bad in the sense that a lacklustre performance will be displayed depending on key factors such as a) the state of the country by then b) if they will enjoy that massive support they have been so used to in Kumasi c) will there even be a functioning government in place to promise fat bonuses and the like (dependent on verdict).

Good

It will however be well with us if the players are affected by a hopefully positive vibe within the country; they will certainly enjoy the support and if institutions work as expected, have no problems with their bonuses. But most of all, they will be so motivated to heal the nation with a resounding win which will take us a step closer to World Cup qualification.

Ghana fans expectant of Ghana win over Zambia

Ghana fans expectant of Ghana win over Zambia

Remedies

1)      I suggest the Ghana FA and other related agencies to start getting their plans and all other arrangements in place from now as time really is not on our side.

2)     Make an alternative plan including an alternative venue outside the country if need be to ensure the match comes off regardless of what becomes of our country by the time. This will be very difficult due to factors I have earlier mentioned in this piece.

3)     Be part of the campaign to educate our people that our dear nation must go on as usual regardless the ruling that is made. Another difficult task but it’s worth the shot.

I conclude this piece wrote on the final day of Ramadan with the prayer and the firm hope that we go to Kumasi together in one peace a more united country than ever and seriously motivated to make our dear nation even stronger by handing Zambia a resounding defeat.

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