I’m glad the World Cup is over. Thankfully, I no longer have to wake up to the sounds of a vuvuzela from the neighbours. That was a bit of a nuisance. For that period, we forgot all about our cheap politics and corruption scandals and for those reasons, I miss the World Cup.
Despite the odds we faced, we were the most favoured side to win and just when a few steps away from the top, we were “robbed”. We did everything right and had we not given up mentally after the missed penalty shot, we might have gone right through and perhaps kept the trophy on the continent. The Stars outdid themselves and exceeded all expectations and in many ways succeeded in unifying most part of the continent through a simple game of kick ball. That for me is the most intriguing and heartwarming detail of this experience. You had people across the continent and the rest of the world wearing the colours of Ghana. And it wasn’t just for show.
Our loss against the Uruguayans brought about an immense support for the Orange Eleven and we couldn’t wait for them to thrash our new found arched enemies. We didn’t care that just days before the start of the world cup, we had been beaten by the Dutch in a friendly match. We just wanted revenge and that’s definitely what we got. Never before has Ghana supported the Netherlands so.
Admittedly it shattered our dreams of making history, they killed us with a cheat, and although we were awarded a penalty and lost that too, we felt that the Uruguayans had not been punished enough. The fact of the matter is that we lost painfully and no matter how many talk shows we develop this topic, no matter how many shouts of rage we conjure, or how many curses we invoke on Suarez, the fact it simple – we lost. There’s no use mulling over this any longer than we already have. Let’s make the most of the loss and move on.
Although we didn’t win, we are enjoying the endearment and sentiments of the entire world. Had we been on the side of the argument, and committed the same foul as the Uruguayans, I doubt if we could still hold our chin high and chests out like we are doing right now. Cheating, in every way or form helps no one. See what happened to the French squad (Les Blues). They cheated their way through to qualify and could not even win a single match! This end surely justified the means. If Uruguay were to have gone ahead and won this competition, they will be known as the team that robbed the better team to win. We need to keep our eyes on the prize and sometimes the prize isn’t always that which glitters.
So trophy or not, we did win. We won the hearts of the South Africans and that of the rest of the world. We won the admiration of the world, the respect of our fellow Africans and now, it means a little bit more to have a Ghanaian passport than before. But beyond that, there’s a lot more than has to be done. We need to do is to accomplish other important feats globally like qualifying for several disciplines in the Olympic games and bringing home quite a few medals, creating world-changing inventions that defy logic. We must contribute a lot more to the world than just a good name in football. Football is only the starting point. Let’s not make it the only objective of the nation. We need a lot more Ghanaians as Nobel Prize winners and other international awards like the Heineken Prize, Wolf Foundation Prize and so on. The events of this tournament point to the fact that if we would die a little, we can live a lot more. If we try a little harder, we most certainly can beat the world and for me, that’s more than enough proof of our capability as Ghanaians and as Africans. No more excuses. I am tired of hearing us blame the slave trade for our woes. Had we been smarter or slightly advanced couldn’t we have also gone and colonized the British or whomever we chose to? Note this: There’s a new world order and we must take advantage of the current that’s blowing, because it is moving us in the direction of success.
But in all this, let’s not be fooled, we will not enjoy silver platter opportunities just because we are Ghanaians or Africans, no not at all. If anything at all, it’ll be more difficult for us. The world out there is full of Suarezes and as we continue this journey, they will get all the more ruthless. They are willing to do destroy your dream so they can preserve theirs. So by fair means or foul, these Suarezes will do whatever it takes to get you out of their way and sadly enough sometimes it works. Giving up is exactly what they would like you to do. So rather than allow them to crucify our dreams, we won’t give up or let down, we’ll keep fighting and remind ourselves than whatever they’ve got, we’ve got a lot more going for us.
That aside, there is one more very important lesson I’d like to leave you with. If you’ve gotten nothing out of this epistle, we must remember always that soccer has had, should have and will have only one goalie.