Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ghana's Womens Soccer Is Dying

Many who follow women's soccer with respect to the national women's soccer team of Ghana, The Black Queens are disgusted by the technical bankruptcy plaguing the teams. This seems to be the main reason for the abysmal performance of the team lately.

The Under-age teams have shown a lot of promise by exhibiting raw talent/skill in various international competitions they have participated in. The most recent being the FIFA Women's U-20 World Cup currently being held in Germany. We some how, always fall short where technical direction is concerned.

Coaches seem to be appointed based on "whom you know" and not by way of experience in successfully handling a women's team,credentials,certification or qualification or most recently by one having been an ex-player. Why is the GFA handling women's soccer like some high school show and tell project ? One having played the game doesn't necessarily make him/her a coach.Shouldn't the FA manage the affairs of women soccer like they do the Black Stars or men's soccer for that matter ?

Ghanaian women soccer players are naturally gifted players and should be handled by competent managers/coaches at the highest level.

Let's take a trip down memory lane,1991- The maiden women's national team was formed which was at the time headed by E.K Edusei. Preparation toward their first international outing which happened to be the continuation of the Ghana versus Nigeria rivalry,ended in a 5-1 thrashing of the Black Queens in Lagos in the first leg of the World Cup qualfier.

The team comprised of raw talent from Kumasi,Tema and Accra where women's soccer had been thriving through ceremonial matches organised by the 31st December Women's Movement in Accra,the Inter Sites End of Year soccer games in Tema and Madam Habiba Atta's Ashtown Ladies in Kumasi who were at the time "Super Star's in an unknown sport -Women's Soccer.

The likes of Patience Quarshie,Rebecca Tay,Faustina Botchway,Eunice Adumuah,Genevieve Clottey,Adwoa Agyeiwa,"Ember" and Stella Quartey readily come to mind,the team which wore the national colors in Nigeria. Due to the hurried nature under which the team was assembled,I will give E.K Edusei the benefit of the doubt for the loss against Nigeria,who had been playing competitively for quite some time and so had more experienced players to boast of.

I must state that the girls gave a good account of themselves. Had the referee been fair, the score could have been a different story and Ghana could have sprung a surprise.

The return Leg saw the inclusion of Alberta Sackey and the exit of a couple of players who were sidelined by injuries. Nigeria arrived in Ghana with confidence hoping for a repeat of the goal haul, but they were wrong. Although they won, Ghana proved to the whole continent that they were a force to be reckoned with. The game ended 2-0 to Nigeria who went on to represent Africa at the world cup.

1999 saw Akwasi Afranie, the former coach of the Black Starlets as the head coach of the Black Queens who had once again played second fiddle to Nigeria at the African Women's Championships but earned a ticket to the World Cup in USA. As debutantes, not much was expected from the Black Queens but Ghana assembled the strongest squad ever, a team which could have made history had team preparations and technical direction been impeccable.Ghana came back home with no wins but was exuding confidence as they looked ahead to coming years.

Out goes Afranie in comes Okoe Aryee who was flying on the back of his success as coach of the 1989 Starlets. China 's hosting rights of the World Cup were taking away due to the out break of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and the USA steps in to host the World Cup once again. Ghana wins a match for the first time by beating Australia by 2-1 but was unable to advance to the next stage of the competition.

A catalogue of reasons were given for the failed world cup campaign,the coach is fired,players retire,the press has a field day with their stories,Ghana's women's soccer has never been the same since. What happened,what went wrong ?

The 2010 campaign has been despicable to say the least. Edusei is brought back to head the team and of course Ghana was expecting to reap where they haven't sown. We are humiliated at the African Cup od Nation's in South Africa, we fail to qualify for the world cup, we are back to zero. What next ?

No comments:

Post a Comment