Our national dream for an African Cup of Nation (AFCON) trophy fizzled out on Monday night when the senior national football team, the Black Stars, was bundled out of the tournament on the lottery of penalties at the one sixteenth stage.
To the Tunisians, they have finally broken Ghana’s domination over them in the history of AFCONS.
Arguably, the Tunisia carried the day with some amount of luck.
In the spirit of good sportsmanship and African unity, Ghanaian Times commends the Tunisians on their efforts.
The invocation of the penalty shoot-out rule to settle for a winner in a football match may not be the best, but that is the reality for now.
Ghanaian Times believes that the Black Stars did not lose to a much superior side, especially after the Skipper Andre Dede Ayew scored a brilliant goal in the first half of the game which the South African referee, in our estimation, unjustifiably disallowed.
In this regard, Ghanaian Times urges the Confederation of African Football, for the sake of fairness and for the good of the game, take a second look at the goal the Black Stars scored and was overruled by the referee.
We are not by this, giving excuses for the early exit of the Stars from the tournament, we also owe it a duty to ventilate our sentiments for the good of the game. We have certainly seen wrong in the referee’s judgement.
And many are those who feel that the Black Stars have been short-changed by that singular decision of the referee.
It is for the good of the game that the Video Assisted Referee(VAR) technology has been introduced to aid in the determination of the veracity of a goal.
Ghanaian Times humbly submits that the decision by CAF to apply the technology later in the tournament is unfounded and misplaced.
It is our belief that all aspects of the tournament is important and that technology must be applied wholesale, because every stage of the tournament holds dear.
To us in Ghana, we should take the early exit of the Black Stars in good fate; hoping that we have, as a country, learnt useful lessons to inform the way forward.
The criticisms that came before the tournament and others that are still pouring in should be taken in good fate by the players, technical handlers and the policy makers.
Certainly, the criticisms are meant to improve the game of football which is very dear to the heart of Ghanaians.
We are really not in good times in Ghana football, and, so therefore, some of the suggestions may be good to consider in the normalisation process.
It is worrying that Ghana’s performance in the recent past AFCON tournaments is retrogressing, which calls for pragmatic steps to address the challenges facing our game of football.
In the 2015 edition held in Equatorial Guinea, the Stars lost on penalties in the final against the Elephants of Cote D’Ivoire.
The subsequent edition in 2017, they were eliminated by the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the semi-final.
Here we are in 2019, touted as “Our year of return”, ostensibly of the AFCON trophy that we last won in Libya 37 years ago, we have taken an early exit.
The tally on the AFCON trophy drought keeps increasing!!