Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Over the years, two questions at least, linger in the minds of Ghanaian football lovers anytime the international governing body of their favourite game, FIFA, release the FIFA/Coca Cola World football ranking.

These questions obviously are; what position was Ghana placed and where will She be in the next ranking.

Ghana’s ranking over the past 11yrs has been like a seesaw. At a point, the country is ranked so high that football fanatics begin to feel complacent. And another point, the country is ranked so low that everyone – the press, FA , football lovers and sometimes the government -tries to identify the cause for the low ranking and suggest possible solutions.

In 2000, out of the 203 countries that were ranked, Ghana was in the 57th position, a position that raised eyebrows all over the country. As usual, tongues came lashing at the coach and officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA). The GFA led by Alhaji M. N. D. Jawula promised football funs that he together with his outfit were going to work hard to move Ghana up from its 57th position.

Ghana fell two places back in 2001,but the 59th position was not the end of the fall. In 2002, the ranking moved from 59 to 61 then to 78 in 2003.

The FA, now led by Dr N. Nyaho-Tamakloe together with the players and technical team of the Black Stars managed to move a step up in 2004. FIFA ranked Ghana 77 in the world. It didn’t stop, in 2005, there was a tremendous rise. The Black Stars led by Captain Stephen ‘Tornedo’ Appiah managed to move 22 places up to the 50th position.

In 2006, Ghana managed to qualify for the first time to the World Cup which was to be held in Germany and also for the African Cup of Nations tournament which was also held in Egypt. Unfortunately, the Black Stars failed make it out of the group stages.

But its FA’s new boss Kwesi Nyantakyi promised to raise the flag of Ghana high at the World Cup. And so he – Kwesi Nyantakyi- together the entire team fulfilled a prophecy that was long foretold by Cameron’s Roger Milla at the Italia 1990 that the best was yet to come and the world should wait for the Black Stars of Ghana at the World Cup.

Ghana qualified from the group stages and got kicked out by Brazil in the round 16 stage. The ranking for that year was marvellous, Ghana moved up to the 22 places to the 28th position.

Unfortunately, the ranking fell to 48 in 2007, rose to 25 in 2008 and dropped to 34 in 2009. But after a spectacular run at the African Cup of Nations in 2010, the Stars made it to the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup which earned Ghana 16th position in the ranking.

The FIFA rankings have been released three times this year .in the January, Ghana was still ranked 16, in April, it was 15 [the highest the country had ever seen]. In the middle of the year, the ranking dropped to 33.

Football fanatics over the world are wondering what the fate of Ghana is going to be like in the future.

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I am a Creative Arts Writer who is also into Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Photography and IT consultancy. I am also Social media enthusiast and an alumni of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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