By Paul Bassey
I do not know whether you also saw him, tastefully dressed on cable tv, appealing to us to shun the green white green and put on the red,green and yellow colours of Ghana. â€œ blahâ€¦.blahâ€¦. me and my peeps blahâ€¦. Blahâ€¦. Support Ghana blah â€¦.blah â€¦blahâ€¦â€
Before you forget, let me tell you the pre world cup story of this young man, widely advertised as one
of the world cup presenters. The NFF said â€œNoâ€. You cannot be on the bench of the Eagles and be running analysis on TV, so they bared him.
Intelligent as he is, he knew that somewhere along the line he was going to pick up the job, so instead of cancelling outright he decided to push the appointment forward, perhaps to the semi finals?
To be fair to him, while we were busy celebrating the loss against Argentina he did come out, and vocally too to say that â€œâ€¦.it was not football to celebrate defeatâ€¦..â€
Now that his team is out, he has returned to TV. The irony of it all is that he is the one they are using to drum up support for Ghana. He who â€œledâ€Â an African team to defeat, now appears on TV asking us to line up behind Ghana. Should not have been him. He should have declined because this was an insult of sortsâ€¦..
Is he aware that back home his President is angry? Was he part of the hurried three hour â€œSouth Africa 2010 review meetingâ€ that gave a clean bill of health to an NFF that was eager to get on with an election that was to lead us to another four years of nothingness?
And this is happening at a time some presidents have resigned, others have claimed responsibility â€œfor choosing the wrong playersâ€ For us a vague and unrepentant and undefined â€œsorryâ€
They say we should support and celebrate Ghana, that they carry the African flag and need our support to be able to redeem the battered image of a continent disgraced. We are condemned to offer that support.
I will not start bellyaching here, although I know that the moment Ghana qualifies for the semi final, â€¦..finalâ€¦.win the cup, ( why not ? ) the plane carrying them will fly directly to Accra for celebrations without a stop over in Lagos or Abuja or any other African country for that matter.
I remember Angola. Ghana beaten in the final was heading home to a presidential treat and a special plane had been sent to pick them home, and we, Nigerian members of the CAF delegation were at the airport not sure of our flight. When the Ghanaian delegation arrived, in all splendor, confident gait and all, they offered us a â€œliftâ€.
They did not mind looking for some seats for us, drop us off in Accra, from where we could find our way home. Fantastic gesture, but very humiliating. I also remember that trip for the â€œboys â€œ we met at the airport, humble, disciplined and respectful. Ayew and co shook us with both hands, added â€œsirâ€ to every response and sat where they were told to sit.
Today they are the toast of the world. Today they are at the threshold of history, about to become the first African country ever to get to the semi final of the world cup, only at second attempt. Even if Ghana does not progress today, they have equaled the African record. They have done well.
Ghana our last remaining hope of world cup glory. Ghana the defender of the black raceâ€¦.Ghanaâ€¦. Shine Black Starsâ€¦.Go Ghana. Go. I and my peeps are behind you.