Tag: Ghana

Condescending Upon Ghana And Supporting England

Mark Critchley watched the friendly match between England and Ghana last night. Here they are. Our boys. No, not them I mean… Fine, alright then, not our boys – our ‘other’ boys, the ones playing against our ‘real’ boys. Yes of course it’s ok to support both. It’s the twenty-first century for fuck’s sake, everybody rutted each other at Woodstock and now we’re all friends. Stop talking about chains. Remember Ghana? Colours; choruses; that odd little dance of Asamoah Gyan’s he uses in order to talk to the animals or something? Why of course you do. They were cute. Theirs were the shoulders upon which ‘the hopes of a continent’ rested just last summer. In a mass as diverse as a scattered plethora of Pic’n’Mix, one billion people Africa-wide rallied behind one relatively unrepresentative national team, don’t you know? That’s a fact. It just is. And why wouldn’t they? Ghana are great. What’s more, they’re English. Except obviously, they’re not. It’s just that having been knocked out on penalties, dealt an extra cold fizzog clout of sporting injustice and then found worthy of a Daily Mail crypto-fascist polemic, they bloody should be. Yeah, let’s have a word with them about that. For now though, I guess we’ll make do with Marcel Desailly (I like the parts where he celebrates a goal). Oh, and an international friendly… Defiantly acting with...

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Luis Suarez, Or Why Football And Morals Don’t Mix

It was the perfect storm at the end of the perfect match. This morning, though, moral outrage is brewing. With one movement of his hands, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has ignited yet another “debate” at this year’s World Cup finals. There is, however, one small problem – there isn’t really any “debate” to be had. There was no failure on the part of the laws of the game in this match, though. The failure was on the part of Asamoah Gyan, who blasted the resulting penalty kick against the crossbar and over. Had he scored, ninety per cent of the debate that is being had this morning would not be taking place. However, when an incident like this occurs, there are plenty of people willing to fill the moral vacuum. Whether moral absolutes have a place in a game for that has been all about the winning for longer than anyone on the planet has lived, though, is something of a moot point, to say the least. It may surprise some of our younger readers, but even deliberate handball on the goal line hasn’t always been an automatic red card offence. Deliberate handball was lumped in with other “professional fouls” (which FIFA now call “denying an opponent a clear goal-scoring opportunity) and, as such, was only usually punished with a caution. An incident in the 1980 FA Cup Final, however,...

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World Cup 2010: Uruguay 1-1 Ghana (Uruguay Win 4-2 On Penalties)

If this isn’t the signature match of this World Cup, an absolute classic awaits. All the “total football” focus had been on Holland v Brazil but in the end only Brazil played like they did in 1974; while this… this match was total… everything. The streets of Ghana’s capital Accra are not as packed as Ned Boulting and ITV would have been hoping when they flew 3,000 miles to get there. Most of the locals are filmed showing two fingers to Boulting and his cameras and we are assured that this is a prediction of the scoreline, rather than an invitation to the patronising outsiders to foxtrot oscar. To be fair, Boulting, the panel and commentator Clive Tyldesley – immediately breaking his own first rule of commentary (“no bias”) – are just the right side of patronising throughout and the tension of the occasion has slowed Marcel Desailly down from Adebayor-ese to considered analysis. Tyldesley tell us “all of Africa” is behind Ghana, and what was lazy generalisation when Peter Drury said it before Ghana/USA turns out to be very true. It’s just an accident of timing that Tyldesley gives his “Uruguay v an entire continent” spiel as the cameras pan out over hundreds of empty seats in Soccer City itself. If the Ghana players are nervous early on, then they’re hiding it very…badly indeed. But the sense is...

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World Cup 2010: United States 1-2 Ghana (aet)

When Ghana becamse independent in 1957, the first of the wave of sub-Saharan countries to do so in that period, there’s a nice story about then Vice-President Richard Nixon attending their Independence Day celebrations. The US were broadly supportive of countries seeking to cast of the yoke of the old European colonial powers, and a beaming Nixon was shaking hand with anyone and everyone. “How does it feel to be free?” he asked of one black man he took for a native; “I wouldn’t know sir,” the man replied, “I’m from Alabama”.

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