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World Cup Diary 7: Football Made in Ghana



World Cup Diary, Football, Ghana

I am not a medical doctor and I don’t know if there is a condition known as national hypertension syndrome. If there isn’t, yours truly deserves the credit for being the first layman to diagnose this disorder. Its main manifestation is when the nation’s collective systolic pressure goes beyond the reading range. This is what happened in the last seven minutes of the Black Stars game against South Korea.

It is one of those moments everyone will recall and narrate to their children and grandchildren for years to come. Everyone would have had their own way of coping with this extreme stress during which Ghana’s own orbital rotation came to a standstill. Watching the match at home, I must have gone into the kitchen twelve times, the bedroom fifteen times with a few bathroom breaks. Standing or sitting still was impossible. There is only one known cure for the aforementioned disease; it is the referee’s last whistle. In the end, the collective sigh of relief was probably heard in our nearest ECOWAS neighbourhood.

This was football made in Ghana. Our 30 million coaches did not get it wrong. They, or rather we (I am one of the coaches) had predicted a Ghana win, and so it turned out to be. There were calls for prayers and fasting, but it is hard to tell how many prayer warriors actually got to work. On the other hand, people were advised to eat a full meal before the match – just in case.

But in truth, this match had everything. There were moments of the beautiful football long recognised as a Ghana brand. Excellent wing play, overlapping defenders, resolute midfielders, and when required in the latter stages of the game, stout defending. Like a true made-in-Ghana product, it came with challenges that were peculiar to our national mind-set. Periods of lack of concentration and real fear as the Koreans attacked in droves and disposed our defenders on some occasions. But God is a Ghanaian, which why he created Kudus. In the most desperate moments, God’s finest creation turned up and popped in the winning goal.

Tonight, our ancient and newly minted enemies – Uruguay and Portugal – lock horns. Ordinarily, we would wish a plague on both their houses, but this is the World Cup and arithmetic is as important as strategy. So, pull out your calculators and work out which result will best help the Black Stars cause. On that basis, we may have to swallow hard and wish a victory for Ronaldo and his compatriots.

Source: Nana Kwesi Djan Apenteng

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