The Black stars of Ghana has failed to write some good stories about itself in recent matches right from the 2014 debacle in Brazil where the team made all the headlines for the wrong reasons. The nation had fallen in love with how the team thrashed the Pharaohs of Egypt on the 15th November 2013 to seal a qualification to the biggest football festival the following year. This memory was short-lived after the playing body held the whole nation to ransom demanding for appearance fees before donning the national colors of Red, Gold and Green with the Black star. Some other stinking disciplinary cases were recorded from the camp of the Black stars of Ghana. However the team managed to qualify to the next Afcon tournament that was held in Equatorial Guinea in 2015. The handlers of the team appointed former Chelsea and Portsmouth coach Avram Grant who led the team to the finals of the tourney but a disappointing penalty shoot-out ended 8-9 in favor of the Ivory Coast. The team endured some difficult times in their quest to qualify for the 2017 Afcon due to the tension that was generated in the struggle of superiority involving the immediate past sports minister, Hon. Nii Lantey Vanderpuye and the leadership of the Ghana Football Association.
Afcon 2017 has already kick off and the Black Stars of Ghana will play their first match against the Cranes of Uganda in the group opener on Tuesday. The cranes last played in the nations cup in 1978 where they became runners up after losing by two goals to nil against the Black Stars in Accra, thanks to a brace from Opoku Afriyie. Both sides have met 13 times where the black stars have won 6 times, four has ended in a draw with the cranes recording three wins. It’s about time for the Black Stars to redeem their image after failing to record a win in the last five matches played between both sides. The Cranes have manage two wins with three games ending in a stalemate. Milutin Sredojević’s men have the psychological edge over the Black stars but with the right approach and mentality, Ghana may come as victors if players who are battle ready are selected on merit. Vengeance is what the people of Ghana are seeking and the team can’t afford to suffer another defeat in the hands of the Ugandans. The Cranes are battle ready to aggravate the wounds they inflicted on the Ghanaian football loving fans. “Bringing good news is imparting hope to one’s fellow man. The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times” – Patti Smith. Most Ghanaian supporters are peeved because the Black Stars have not been able to chalk some success in their last five matches and as a results, the team has declined to 54th in the last FIFA Rankings and ninth in Africa.
Coach Avram Grant have recounted how difficult the task to triumph over the Cranes but did not not rule out a win for the Stars. A lot of stories have emerged from the camp in Port-Gentil with issues involving training pitches and food but that shouldn’t deter the team from reclaiming their lost glory. This years Afcon tournament marks the 60th anniversary of the biggest stage in Africa football whiles the Black Stars last won the trophy in 1982. The team have made several attempts since but have come out as first runners up in 1992, 2010 and 2015. If this logic is anything to go by, then this year seems to be a year of redemption. “When not only gold but all commodities are available for the redemption of the paper currency, its volume is limited only by the value of all the wealth of the country, and it can never become insecure up to this limit” – John Buchanan Robinson. A win for the Black Stars will restore hope in Ghanaians and the team will reignite the pride with which the people boast of and win the support they’ve enjoyed over the years.