After rescheduling the 33rd Edition of AFCON (Cameroon 2021) due to the COVID-19 pandemic from June 2021 , the biggest competition on the continent has taken off from January 9 until February 6 this year.
The tournament looked some how doubtful at some point in time, especially during the FIFA extra ordinary congress last month when President Gianni Infantino declared “African Cup of Nations has become a problem”.
The timing of the tournament and the health risk factor in the surge in the Omicron variant of Corona Virus was other factors that raised concerns about the reality of the competition’s commencement.
For the 23rd time, Ghana will participate in this tournament this year. Ghana is housed in group B along with Morocco, Gabon and Comoros. The Black Stars will begin their campaign on January 10th with Morocco at the Amadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.
Ghana won their last AFCON trophy in 1982 in Libya exactly four decades ago. After Milovan Rajevac confirmed his final 28 players, the average age of the squad is 25 years. Emphantically, none of the players in the list was born when Ghana last won the trophy.The average age signifies a youthful side that provides not just a core for future experience and chemistry but also a formidable team at its ideal peak to annex the trophy.The trophy has eluded the nation for a long time and this drought cannot be perpetuated to a series of disappointment through its forty years floor count. It is upon this that the Black stars must realize this is the time to break the fallowed ground, dig deeper and irrigate our dry thirsty land with a quenching and refreshing water of the trophy.
Even though Ghana is one of the successful nations in the tournament history, the four time champions title has so long been a mere acronym that is gradually losing its credence and sovereignty as a soccer power house in Africa. Ghana and Egypt shares the highest number of grand finales with nine occasions. However, Ghana trails the latter who have won it unprecedented seven times – a difference of three between them.
The most intriguing part of the storyline is the fact that the when Ghana won its last trophy (number 4), Cameroon(5 times champions) and Egypt were both just two times winners. It is therefore inexcusable for the Black stars to stuck behind the bridge and watch on as their competitors match on further away .
I believe the whole contingent especially the playing body is aware of the statistics and its implication. Even though the Black stars are considered underdogs to win the trophy, it is by these meanings that the implications of the numbers should motivate the team to go for the ultimate, write their names in gold in the history books and win completely back the love we so yearn and desire over the past years.
Source: Lawrence Yirenkyi Ohene