Take a walk around the campus of the University of Ghana on a Sunday afternoon in the month of May, and it’s likely that you will come across a large group of students gathered around, debating aggressively. At a distance, from the passion with which they argue, you would assume they are arguing over religion or politics. But get closer and you will discover that they’re simply talking about why the 4-4-2 formation would have been a better formation for Chelsea to have used against Barcelona’s 4-2-3-1 formation in the champions league game they just watched. That’s how passionate Ghanaians are about soccer.
The average Ghanaian qualifies to be a coach of a professional soccer team. Well not really, but that’s a likely conclusion to make after sitting down to watch a soccer game with a typical Ghanaian. Considering the passion with which they call plays, analyze set pieces, suggest substitutions, and celebrate goals you would actually start believing, given a chance, these folks could coach a team to world cup victory. Ghanaians love their soccer!
However its mostly foreign leagues that are closely followed by most people. People hardly follow the local league unless the major teams are playing. Ask them why and they will tell you it is simply because the local league is… well… “wack”. And that sadly is in fact the case. The infrastructure necessary to promote the local Ghanaian league to the degree to which Europeans leagues promote their’s is just not there.
Unfortunately despite the high level of enthusiasm for soccer in Ghana and pretty much the continent as a whole, not much effort has gone into developing the sport on the continent. Despite how much we love the sport, very few people are willing to invest anything into it. Why? well issues like 500 years of brainwashing people to believe that anything from outside the continent is better than what anything from Africa has to offer definitely plays a role, but you know what? Let’s leave that discussion for another time.