By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Africa’s Cup Of Nation Ghana Bound
AFRICA’S CUP OF NATIONS GHANA BOUND THE OFFICIAL BALL
In Africa nothing could be further from their minds that the SuperBowl but FOOTBALL is What we call soccer but the rest of the world calls FOOTBALL is at a fever pitch all over the great content of Africa right now. A level of excitement that probably puts the SuperBowl interest here to shame. Ghana is hosting this year’s Cup of Nations and they are also the favorites to win it all.
They started out on a strong note Sunday night when Ghana beat Guinea 2-1 in the opening match.
Midfielder Michael Essien is the top player on the Ghana squad who made a rather obvious comment after his team’s first victory ” People think Ghana are favorites because we are playing at home but it doesn’t guarantee a win in any competition in the world.”
Following but an equally insightful comment ” It is added pressure for the team but we are ready to fight to be champions. We have shown it during the first game against Guinea by playing until the end.”
Enough of that ….
For our still largely American audience the value here is widening our horizons reminding ourselves again and again that these United States will never reach the heights of sports “diplomacy” unless we embrace soccer with the same passion as the rest of the world. Yes certainly USA has become competitive at the World Cup and in the Olympics but that does not in any way mean here that soccer is anywhere near the equal of basketball, football or even baseball for widespread interest.
Most of all from the Box perspective it means soccer remains a Golden Opportunity for African Americans to be as assertive in soccer as in football and basketball. Seeing the success of and the quality of soccer played all over Africa should be all it takes to convince African Americans to embrace soccer enthusiastically.
Shifting the focus back to Africa the intense level of interest in soccer and the widespread enthusiasm in country after country across geography and social an economic barriers proves that Sports can have a positive impact in uniting people and eliciting positive energy.
Just as long as we don’t take that theme too far. Fact is repressive regimes and human rights abuses and extreme poverty and horrendous health problems still prevail in too much of Africa in spite of the success of soccer.
And to be bluntly honest if we shift the focus back to the USA in spite of the success of African Americans on the field in football and basketball and a few others Sports so what else has it meant. Very little to nothing. It certainly has not lifted the African American community in general to new heights, and even in the Sports dominated by African Americans on the playing field there has been meager progress in those Sport off the field in management, ownership, merchandising and broadcasting.
but not to lose our focus Africa Cup of Nations and the competition taking place you can go the the official Website to learn more http://www.ghanacan2008.com/ or for a good overview once again to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_African_Cup_of_Nations but most of all remember soccer is FOOTBALL every place else