It’s African Cup of Nations time, so I have to add a post today on this topic as Ghana is presently one game away from qualifying to the quarter finals.
I haven’t actually watched a match since it started, the first Ghana match since it started, firstly because the first match came on at 4 when I was busy working away, the second came on Saturday and the lights decided to play up, and today well I am at least I am now watching the second half. I was busy in a meeting which started when most people are packing to go, and came out when the first half was over, but it’s a draw at the moment. We were leading 1:0 when Guinea came to equalize just before half time.
I have to admit, I along with the rest of the nation have taken this cup personal, my heart cannot take it so I am quietly sitting in my spot at the back, there is a crowd in front of me watching quite a tiny TV, as I’m alone and don’t want to be exposed as the closet football hooligan I am, I am writing, only peeping my head up when I hear the noise from the small crowd in front of me.
For those who detest football, this is the best time to be driving. As I pulled out of the car park onto the highway, normally at this time I would be fighting to squeeze onto the road, this evening the road was free. By 6, people had stopped everything and were looking for an outlet to watch the football, so the road was clear. In 15 minutes I was back in the neighbourhood. There is a long road which is usually congested, it doesn’t matter what time of the day or night. It stretches for about a mile but it reaches a point and it’s free flow. I can never understand as it is not at a junction or a crossroads, just one random spot. Today was no different but even at that, it was not as congested as it usually is.
I felt like stopping for a quick drink, the first one I went to, well it was standing room only. It is not a big screen or anything, about a 32″, but people were standing as far as the door. I couldn’t even get to the bar let alone find a table to sit. So I am now at my spot. There were no chairs (its a very small place), but the owner made someone get up so I could sit, I wouldn’t get this VIP area if I were to go to Rhapsodys.
Well the match is over and Ghanaians everywhere are jubilating. It may have remained a draw but they are through to the next round. As I said Ghanaians take their football seriously. He may never have left this soil but he is an avid Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man U or Arsenal fan and when it comes to the African or World Cup, there is no politics, tribe or status inside, all are as deeply patriotic from Tamale to Accra. Even I who cannot see the point of grown men running after one ball gets swept up in it (haven’t got to the love of the premiership cup yet but am forced to watch on occasion).
If only all Ghana’s problems could be solved over a game of football.