Group mobilises boycott of Black Stars' Cup of Nations game
A group calling itself ”Respect For Ghanaians” is allegedly planning to encourage fans to boycott a Black Stars’ match against the Cranes of Uganda, who will meet for a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium on September 5.
The group, whose members want to stay anonymous for the time being, is said to be spearheaded by some prominent Ghanaian journalists who believe that what happened at the World Cup in Brazil is an affront to Ghana’s football fans.
The group believes that the national team held the nation at ransom when the payment of their appearance fees delayed by refusing to train. Players also disregarded President John Mahama’s plea that they continue to train, while Sulley Muntari is alleged to have slapped management team member Moses Armah leading to a flurry of blows from Moses Armah.
“Respect For Ghanaians” is of the view that this is the height of player insubordination and that Ghana football fans must react.
”We live in a country where we fast, pray and do all sorts of things just see our players don the national jersey and wholeheartedly play for the nation for us to win matches, but what do we see these days?” one member queried.
“We give them our support during qualifiers only for them to get to tournaments and sabotage us by refusing to train because money which will be paid at all costs has delayed. ‘
‘They forget that the monies fans pay as gate fees to support them is their blood, sweat and tears in difficult economic situations,” he stated emotionally.
”For them to have even disobeyed the president of the land is enough justification that these players who were given opportunities by Ghana in our various national teams are simply unpatriotic and think they are bigger than Ghana so fans who toil to get monies to watch them must feel insulted.”
When asked why they were demonstrating against Black Stars players when government has set up a Commission of Inquiry into proceedings at Brazil 2014, he responded that the group does not have any political affiliation.
”Our plans are independent of political influences. We want to prove that we do not need any form of political influence to create awareness about our national team.”
Another member of the group shed more light on how they plan to go about the demonstration.
”It includes moving from one media house to another to sensitize Ghanaians about the need to prove to Black Stars players that the football fan on the street is not happy with them and that no matter how long they stay in Europe, they remain Ghanaians and should know that our culture which stipulates respect for authority is paramount in everything we do.”
“If they have no respect for government and the football association, football fans must bring them back to their senses.
“It is the best avenue we can use to teach them lessons on how they should treat the nation which gave them opportunities to get to the levels they have gotten to.”
”Imagine Black Stars playing in an empty Accra Sports Stadium or Baba Yara Stadium; it will not be a spectacle to behold and these players will surely learn lessons from it. ‘
‘We will encourage fans to boycott the match and the few who attend will be those we’ve organized to boo them throughout the duration of the match, irrespective of the venue. We will also be at their training sessions to do same.”
He went further to explain that if the players placed the minutest of values on the role of supporters, they would have thought twice about their actions in Brazil.
“They do not value our support as Ghanaians so this is the time to deprive them of the support and make them feel the effect of our ‘real’ and ‘ofunu’ chorus,’’ he added.
Players like Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng who led the revolt in camp have been suspended indefinitely, but according to the group, the signal of their actions will be so profound that the trio will surely hear what has transpired.
This is the second time in recent months that a group of Ghanaians have planned to starve the team of their support.
When Ghana was about playing Zambia in a Brazil 2014 qualifier, a group claiming to be ‘Friends of Zambia’ surfaced and threatened to garner support for the Zambians.
By KWAKU AHENKORAH, KESSBEN FM &TV