It can only be described as a period of serious trauma for every citizen of this our noble land in the field of sports in the past two months, from the Brazil World Cup to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Incredible! to say the least.
It reminds one of the days we were ushering in our golden jubilee and all looked gloomy as our contingent, dispatched to the Algeria All Africa Games just couldn’t click, and when our revered Black Stars were receiving their worst battering at the hands of Saudi Arabia and also when our Black Queens were being toyed with at the China World Cup receiving 15 goals in three group matches.
This year when we ushered in the 57th anniversary, our President inspected the Guard of Honour in torrential rain. We the poor citizens were looking forward to one moment of excellence to celebrate our sporting prowess and say at 57, we are worthy to be reckoned as a great sporting nation among the lot.
But it is simply frightening how our high-flying sporting excellence is derailing into abysmal despondency.
The sporting world is mourning in silence for losing all the recognition which the country built up to the late 80s when Professor Azumah Nelson and his colleagues wiped the tears in the eyes of sporting fans with their incredible superiority.
You can’t imagine the highly respected Black Stars entering Brazil via a good 4-0 defeat of South Korea with great confidence and coming out battered and down-hearthed with only one point out of a possible nine, despite receiving huge and unprecedented appearance fees of $100,000 each with the extras going to their technical team and management committee members.
And in the midst of a fact-finding commission of inquiry on the Brazil debacle, with the citizenry wondering what action FIFA will take looking closely at the complexity of political interference in their rules, here we are with a poorly prepared Commonwealth Games squad doing no justice to their selection and all the financial support for their early camping in Glasgow.
Did the children of this glorious Coast of Gold ever think that at this hour, when we are scratching our heads to find solutions to our myriad of problems, there would come another possible bombshell where we could be hit hard with a slap by FIFA?
As at now the world soccer governing body is waiting for our FA’s explanation of the Commission of Inquiry on the just-ended Brazil debacle with the Ministry of Youth and Sports demanding an insertion of its input, we can perceive how close we are to the throes of unconditional political interference.
Our close neighbours, Nigeria, have just come out of FIFA’s hard-hitting ban, and the danger of allowing our soccer to fall into that same penalty is a snare we have to do everything to keep off. Meanwhile, in Glasgow, as Kenya’s long distance runners, Kelas Indico and others, are running for gold medals and Nigerian weight-lifters are getting decorated in gold, our athletes are struggling and failing in their heats, leaving no sign of impact for the citizens of Glasgow, Scotland to remember after the Games.
It must be noted that in such high-profile Games, what matters most is the winning of gold medals as it is the only achievement that is greeted with the national anthem of the achiever. But at this time that our potential medal winners that we know, Ignatius Gaisah and Margaret Simpson, have defected to other countries, one wonders how many of our “God Bless Our Homeland Ghana” will be heard at the Games.
Please, we do not have to expect any soothsayer to predict that we need heavenly salvation for the slippery steps our nation is taking, throwing its glorious blessing into a state of confusion and ending in total darkness. How many times have we not sincerely craved the indulgence of the powers-that-be to think of glorifying the Almighty Father in Heaven with a natural name as is obtained in all lands of this our world?
This world of ours has its natural laws, and failure to do what is demanded of man has its catastrophic ramifications. All the 71 Commonwealth countries carry their natural names with our own ‘Land of Gold’ as the only possible exception.
There can never be any justification for dropping a natural name for an outlandish, baseless epithet which has no bearing on our glorious home. It is clear that all those nations we could classify as inferior and insignificant in sporting activities are overtaking us for no justifiable reasons, and we seem to be confused but happy about it with all sorts of excuses.
Thank God, the Commonwealth Games have taught us a lesson; it is not a premier league where the undeserved competitors are made to step back to the lower division. Please, let’s baptise a new ‘Coast of Gold’ and kick Ghana back to the Sahel where it belongs.
Our people will definitely come back from Glasgow pointing accusing figures on personalities and even blaming the Ministry of Finance for voting a huge sum of money for Team Ghana which went to Glasgow to expose our inertia and insipidity.
Is it not a pity that we just went there to respond to the name Ghana, raise our flag and disappoint everybody? Am I talking to somebody with a simple understanding? May the Lord have mercy!