By Maxwell Ofori
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says he was gutted by the unexpected end of road for the senior national soccer team, the Black Stars, from the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Egypt.
The President, who had openly expressed his support and confidence in the team before they journeyed to Egypt, and also going to there to watch the team’s opening game, could not hide his bitter disappointment, but was confident the team would bounce back.
He tweeted to express his displeasure and confidence shortly after the heartbreaking loss to the Tunisians on Monday at the round of 16, which would have seen Ghana moving to the quarter finals if they had won.
The tweet read: “Like most Ghanaians, I am gutted by the exit of the Black Stars at AFCON 2019. I wish the team better luck next time. I am confident they will bounce back even stronger, and make all of us proud once again.”
Many Ghanaians had hoped the Black Stars would win the match against Tunisia, as Ghana had always defeated them, at least, at major tournaments, thus the turn of events being surprising.
Going into the tournament, there appeared divided allegiance amongst Ghanaians. Whereas some believed the team could break the over three decades trophy fasting, others had no hope in the team.
The Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram constituency, Samuel Dzata George, for instance, posted on his Facebook page on June 25, in the morning before the Black Stars played their first game that they would “not return with even Indomie.”
He indicated that the team was not solid enough to win the trophy, and called for the disbandment of the Black Stars and the building of a new team from the Under 21.
The match against Tunisia ended on a goal each for both sides, which took the game into extra time, same of which was not able to determine a winner, demanding a penalty shootout, which Tunisia won with five goals against four.
Social media, as usual, was inundated with backlashes from some Ghanaians to the head coach, Akwasi Appiah, through to the last person in the Black Stars team.
Using unprintable words, some posts called for the head of the coach, with others thanking Tunisia for helping Ghana to save further expenses on the team at the AFCON.
Trust Ghanaians to create humour in every situation. Though disappointed at the abysmal performance of the team, some Ghanaians were happy, saying the team could come home to register for their Ghana Card.