Most people were taken aback by Qatar’s selection to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, given the concerns surrounding its human rights policies and low levels of involvement in football and sports in general.
According to many, the country won the proposal based on the budget they presented.
There is no denying, however, that the procedure has gone without a hitch despite several rumors.
Perez Erzoah Kwaw, who is the sports editor for GhanaWeb, believes that Qatar has demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that they are capable of handling expectations that were lower than normal.
“We had countries submit bids, particularly countries that had the merits in terms of football and other factors appealed more and could host the world cup, but for various reasons, Qatar was selected, and I must say they did put up a lot of things to making this game a smooth one so far, although people didn’t really appreciate their laid down human right rules.”
He says “I however have my reservations that in giving the hosting right to Qatar, football overlooked the moral aspect of the game”– Perez Erzoah Kwaw.
Emmanuel Ayamga, editor of PulseGh Sports, believes that Qatar’s selection to host the World Cup could not have arrived at a better time.
“I was shocked that Qatar won the bid to host the World Cup, but this is the first time that the World Cup has been held in an Arab country. I knew a moment would come for the Arab nation, but I didn’t anticipate it to be this soon since I didn’t know if any Arab country was prepared to welcome the entire world. Qatar is a small country with a population of fewer than 3 million people, so I assumed they wouldn’t be able to but based on their preparations, they have proven beyond all reasonable doubt that they are capable”.
Delivery at its best!
Without a doubt, Producer for Film House Entertainment Nicholas Forson acknowledged Qatar’s highly praised efforts in putting together the best procedures certifying it as the best World Cup event ever held.
“In general, I approved of everything that is happening in Qatar right now, including the elaborate efforts made to make it appear attractive. It was one of the best world cups ever, in my opinion, because it allowed the athletes to rest while still meeting their team’s needs, and I would dearly want to see the tournament return to Qatar”– Nicholas Forson
According to Edward Gyasi, Sports Analyst say; “We have witnessed people genuinely enjoying themselves in spite of the political difficulties and conspiracy theories surrounding Qatar and its rules and restrictions. Given the criteria, we initially believed it would be highly strict, but that wasn’t the case, this is indeed a great experience for me”.
Ghanaians impressions on Qatar’s laid-down rules
A few days before the tournament began, Qatar announced some guidelines for participants who were coming to the country to watch the match. Rules included no alcohol consumption within the stadium, no Public Display of Affections (PDA) or public sexual acts, inappropriate clothing, and no drugs.
Since then, these regulations have sparked discussions among various parties and even ordinary Ghanaians.
John Kwesi Akwaful, a Ghanaian international student is fully in support of Qatar on whatever laws they believe will make their country better:
“An Arabian cannot come to the US and legally marry four women. I am a students studying outside and one thing our international office always tells is that the USA has its own rules and we should follow it no matter what. Mind you, they won’t bend these rules for anybody when they host the World Cup in 2026. FIFA never forced any country to participate and it is really disrespectful to the Qatari people what the West is doing and worse of all the agenda they are trying to force into people’s minds”.
Emmanuel Asamoah has a different position on Qatar’s laid down rules as he believes that the voiceless minority is being coiled into subordination.
“I am submitting that it cannot be true that the entire Qatari state is in agreement with banning LGBT.
A few people rising up as activists to sell the message to the larger majority, who actually don’t need to be affected before they support the movement. I am all for tradition. But the tradition that says somebody is not welcome because of his race, gender, that is a negative one for”–Emmanuel Asamoah.
Ghana at a crossroads
Two games down. Lost the first game against Portugal. Won the second against South Korea. Scored five goals and conceded five goals. That’s the summary of the journey of the Black Stars of Ghana before they faced the Blue Sky Boys, Uruguay.
Twelve years prior, Uruguay stopped Ghana from becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals. A heartbreaking day it was. Many envisaged a “revenge game” when Ghana was drawn against Uruguay in group H for the 2022 World Cup. It was a game Ghana hoped to win.
Before the match, Kelly, an avid supporter of the Black Stars said “As for this one we have to finish them. They caused us [Ghana] great pain in 2010. Suarez must feel our pain” – Kelly
Andre Dede Ayew’s missed penalty will become one of the most painful events in the world Cup but the last thing on the minds of many Ghanaians even after losing to Uruguay was sadness. Rather most felt consoled that Uruguay was also exiting the contest.
Nevertheless, Ghana lost that game two goals down and with that it ended its World Cup Campiagn.
What went wrong?
What do Ghanaians make of the performance of the stars? The first to take the blame is coach Otto Addo. Sports analyst with Ghana based radio station, Asaase Radio, Princeton Wiredu believed he had “little to no exposure to The World cup. He also had little time to prepare for the competition”
Prior to becoming the Head Coach, Otto Addo was a scout coach for one of Germany’s top teams. He was only appointed coach on 9th February 2022.
“The team was relatively young with an average age of 25. More was expected of them,” Raymond E.Y Nuworkpor, Communications Director, National Democratic Congress for Okaikwe North Constituency said.
He believes that it is a mixture of “Inexperience, inadequate preparation, and little to no exposure for many players to the World Cup setting. That is all the wrong things we did. Plus the technical team didn’t do much especially our last game.”
Ghana conceded seven goals after three matches. An abysmal performance by all standards especially from the defense.
“It is no surprise Ghana’s porous defense of the National team let it down once again against Uruguay when all it needed was a draw. Dede and Jordan Ayew, Inaki Williams, Thomas Partey, Baba Rahman were mostly inconsistent with their performance and often failed to take charge. – Eric Kwafo, Journalist with MordernGhana.
What needs to be done?
A new coach! Undoubtedly, many Ghanaians want a new coach to be appointed to the senior team. Meanwhile Otto Addo has tendered in his resignation to the Ghana Football Association.
Over the last decade, it has been rumored that Coaches and the Technical Team have not been given enough space to work independently. They have had to make decisions with the FA breathing over their necks and in many cases determining which players should make the final squad. Many want that to change.
Eric Kwafo says the new technical team “should be allowed to work without interference. The GFA must be forced to stop interfering in the affairs of the black stars especially imposing players on the coach”. – Eric Kwafo, Journalist with MordernGhana.
The Black Stars captain Dede Ayew in a Facebook post however believes that this is not yet the end but a lesson to come back better and stronger.
“Our final group match result was not what we were looking forward to in the tournament, but unfortunately, it ended up this way, l am very, very proud of all my teammates for putting up a wonderful team spirit on and off the pitch, for our country Ghana. Personally, it has been very difficult moments for me in the past few days.I lost my godson the morning before the Portugal game, and my daughter was also rushed to the hospital after the Uruguay. Thanks to the Almighty Allah, she’s getting better. This difficult moment will inspire me to come back stronger and better in the future, and so I believe, will the Black Stars,”- Andre Dede Ayew.
Story by: Mabel Korkor Ocansey