Ghana Black Stars Meet Pres. Attah Mills

The gallant Black Stars of Ghana who earned a new nickname; BaGhana, BaGhana at the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa returned to their homeland; Accra, Ghana after their World Cup adventure andwere welcomed by thousands of supporters, who stayed deep into Monday’s night at the Accra airport to mark their heroes’ arrival.

Ghana Black Stars Meet Pres. Attah Mills

In my previous post; Africa’s Time That Never Was; I expressed my opinion and that of other African bloggers on the Ghana Black Stars sad exist from the 2nd round when they faced Uruguay which resulted in a penalty shoot-out after which the latter won.

It was an electrifying moment as fans went berserk, waving their flags and blasting their vuvuzelas, with local drums to welcome the team. A red carpet was laid for the team as they made their way from the aircraft, which touched down at 11:17pm on Monday evening.

A couple of senior government officials and sports personalities including the maestro; were on call to welcome them in a brief but memorable ceremony.

“You’ve really held high the flag of Ghana and the entire African continent; we warmly welcome you back home.” Deputy Sports Minister Nii Nortey Duah said.

The Stars Captain; Stephen Appiah said they are overwhelmed with the positive attitude of Ghanaians and assured them of greater heights to reach come Brazil 2014. He also stressed;

“We did our best but we did not have luck on our side. By any means possible we are going to qualify for the 2014 world cup in Brazil,”

On Tuesday 6th July, 2010; the players undertook a float through some principal streets of Accra before converging at the Osu Castle, seat of Government to meet with President John Evans Atta Mills for a lunch reception.

Below are photos by John Clusters from the Castle, Osu;

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Finally, The Wait is Over…!

In a couple of hours/minutes from now, South Africa will make history as the first African nation to host the World Cup. Since the Rainbow Nations’ name was pulled from the FIFA envelope way back in 2004, the people of South Africa have waited for this moment and now it has arrived.

The Official FIFA World Cup Football.

Today, June 11th, 2010; South Africa steps onto the world stage as host nation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup as the international soccer tournament begins – welcoming 32 teams from around the world.

South Africa was selected as the host six years ago, and has been preparing ever since, building five new stadiums, upgrading five existing stadiums, and building up public transportation, including a new rapid transit railway.

South Africa has made the impossible possible. Who would have thought a mere 20 years ago, that this would be possible? From the Adidas commercial, “Impossibility is really nothing…” Mzansi fo sho!!!

African / Cameroonian Football Legend Roger Milla:

South Africa have to win today’s opening match & “set the scene” for the other African countries (Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Algeria & Nigeria) to follow…

The sporting world would stop waiting and start watching as days, months and years of preparations finally give way to the start of the 19th FIFA World Cup. Host, South Africa would kick off the tournament against Mexico at the Johannesburg’s Soccer City stadium which has also been awarded the right of staging the final.

Over the past weeks, the teams and their legions of fans have begun arriving while final preparations are made and dress rehearsals held for the Opening Ceremony on Friday. More than 90,000 fans have packed in at Africa’s biggest football stadium desperate to see the Bafana-Bafana open their account with a victory, they will not be alone in that wish.

The tournament takes place over a month, ending on July 11th. My question is;

“Who eventually wins the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010?

Would it be South Africa, Ghana, Cameroun, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, England, Brazil, Argentina or Spain?

Enhanced by Zemanta

World Cup 2010 African Nations Murals

Fans celebrating the upcoming 2010 FIFA World ...
Image via Wikipedia

The FIFA World Cup which is almost a couple of days away in South Africa isn’t just going to make footballers [soccer players], Coaches, Technical Teams and their nations rich again [in a way] but rather a chance for artists / creative guys to show-case their creativity.

Yours truly came across series of colored murals depicting men on horseback, eagle-back and elephant-back; men dressed as supermen, men sprouting wings or plated with armor. First question that came in mind was; what is the reason/idea behind these murals? Whose paintings are this?

Bingo…. Answers here;

These murals were designed by Am I Collective; a Cape Town based illustration, design and animation studio; which has established an international reputation through their ability to craft various styles of illustration. This project is the idea of ESPN Broadcast Network in a way to depict a story about each team’s mural.

Below are the murals of the 6 African Nations at the tournament and what they actually depicts;

The World Cup 2010 on the continent of Africa!

Six countries; South Africa, Ghana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Algeria & Nigeria are presenting Africa at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Michael Essien flying high flag of Ghana.

Beware of the Ghana Black Stars! At the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, the team relied heavily on young call-ups from the Satellites—the Ghanaian side that beat Brazil to win the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup—and made it all the way to the finals before bowing to Egypt 1-0. Ghana may lack a defining presence up front, but with or without the veterans the defense is stellar and the midfield is rock solid. Ghana is in Group D with Australia, Serbia & Germany. Are we going to advance into the next stage?

Bafana Bafana of South Africa with their Vuvuzela 🙂

The Bafana-Bafana of South Africa are very proud to be hosting this year’s FIFA World Cup. They are one of the lowest-ranked teams in the tournament thereby making them the first World Cup host nation to fail to advance beyond the group stage considering the group they’ve found themselves in. They are in Group A with; Mexico, France & Uruguay. Would you consider this group; The Group of Death?  Are we likely to watch a “piano and shoeshine” [short passing] game?

Mikel Obi riding high on a Super Eagle.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria took the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and many people thought the best was yet to come. But the Olympics, alas, are not the World Cup. And Nigeria … well, Nigeria is Nigeria.
They are drawn in the same group [Group B] as Argentina, South Korea & Greece.

Didier Drogba & the Elephants of Ivory Coast.

The Elephants of Ivory Coast are far more than just a supporting cast for Didier Drogba; the reigning African Player of the Year and winner of this year’s Golden Boot in the English Premier League. Salomon Kalou, Didier Zokora, Kolo and Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue—these are just a few of the Elephants that any coach would kill to have on his side.  Ivory Coast is drawn in Group G with North Korea, Portugal & Brasil. Let see, how they fair during the tournament.

Samuel Eto'o & The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon..!

A sly and silky striker, Samuel Eto’o is capable of hoisting up the whole of his team and carrying it on his slender back. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are drawn in Group E with; The Netherlands, Japan & Denmark. Which teams are going to the next stage?

Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes) of Algeria.

Don’t overlook the Les Fennecs (The Desert Foxes); they’ll catch you napping. Algeria’s young and inexperienced team may be in tatters, but don’t expect the Desert Foxes to slip quietly into the night during the tournament. The Desert Foxes of Algeria find themselves in Group C with; England, Slovenia & the United States of America. To make it to the elimination round in South Africa, the Desert Foxes will need everything to break their way. They open against Slovenia—no picnic—and then face England and the USA.

You can see the murals of the 32-teams at the World Cup here….

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Ghana’s WC2010 Squad: Who’s In; Who’s Out!

Once again, the Black Stars coach; Milovan Rajevac has gone for simplicity rather than flashy. Just like he did in the run-up to the Angola 2010 AFCON, Milovan has found his way into my Book of Respect.

As much as I like football [soccer] and also a die-hard Chelsea FC fan, I wouldn’t say I do support the Ghana Black Stars that much. Yes, don’t be surprised this is coming from a patriotic citizen like me. Even though their performance at the Africa Cup of Nations in January was a bit OK, I still can’t bank my hopes on them at the World Cup in South Africa from next week…

The current squad without, Michael Essien, Stephen Adams, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Haminu Dramani, Bernard Kumordzi and Laryea Kingston makes Team Ghana not a sure choice for my support in the competition. I believe Coach Milo have reasons for his choice of players, no matter what.

Ghana have been drawn in Group D and will face Australia, Germany and Serbia with their first group stage match against Serbia in Pretoria on June 13, 2010.  The 23 players the gaffer has named is very cool. Not”cool” as in the best squad we could have assembled, but”cool” as in it being the best out of a bad situation.

Below is a list of players who made it to Coach Milo’s final 23:

Goalkeepers: Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professionals, Ghana), Richard Kingson (Wigan Athletic). (Hearts of Lions, Ghana) & Stephen Ahorlu

Defenders: Hans Sarpei (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany), John Paintsil (Fulham, England), John Mensah (Sunderland, England), Samuel Inkoom (FC Basel, Switzerland), Jonathan Mensah (Free State Stars, South Africa), Lee Addy (Bechem Chelsea, Ghana), Abdul Rahim Ayew (Zamalek, Egypt) & Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim, Germany).

Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Rosenborg, Norway), Derek Boateng (Getafe, Spain), Stephen Appiah (Bologna, Italy), Sulley Ali Muntari (Inter Milan, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy), André Ayew (Arles-Avignon, France), Quincy Owusu Abeyie (Al-Sadd, Qatar) & Kevin-Prince Boateng (Portsmouth, England).

Forwarders: Asamoah Gyan (Stade Rennais, France), Prince Tagoe (Hoffenheim, Germany), Matthew Amoah (NAC Breda, Netherlands) &Dominic Adiyiah (AC Milan, Italy).


Black Stars Bus

My take on the following players; Laryea Kingston, Haminu Draman & John Mensah in no significant order;

Haminu Dramani: Heaven knows Haminu Dramani has an acclaimed reputation for being the best in training. When it gets to replicating it on the real field of play, he contrives to do the wrong things at the right time and vice versa. Now he has been dropped. Rightfully so, abi?

And oh,

Laryea Kingston. The omission drew derisive remarks from many people including Honorable Ministers of State, His Mother & his Fan Club members. Many felt, sentimentally, that Coach Milo should have taken him after he so painfully lost a chance to be in Germany.

In my utmost opinion, I think he deserve to be on Coach Milo’s list and also play in the WC2010 because he was benched at Hearts FC for coming to play in a World Cup qualifier against the teams will? He’s sacrificed as much as Stephen Appiah did.

“When Stephen Appiah didn’t have a team, he was allowed to play regularly when he was fit and that really helped him into finding one. So, why Laryea Kingston?” @Kwabena

And finally;

John Mensah. I do not know what Milo knows, but Mensah represents my only doubts of the 23 the Serbian has named. Why take an injury-prone, brittle player to marshall the defence, when there are other ready to do the job? Why risk the rest of his career, even his life, for a four-week tournament. We’ll never know.

Even though I’m a bit pessimistic in a way, I do have some “hope” and “faith” that, the Black Stars will go through to the Quarter Finals. If you have a different view to the story, kindly feel free and speak your mind.

I’m proud to be an African & a  Ghana. God Bless the Black Stars…!!!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]