“Like most Ghanaians, I am gutted by the exit of the Black Stars at Afcon 2019. I wish the team better luck next time. I am confident they will bounce back even stronger and make all of us proud once again,” President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo tweeted this on his twitter handle.
This tweet from the President is not new to Ghanaians as it is linked to the Senior National Team, the Black Stars.
The Black Stars have been let off the hook at the ongoing 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt; the 32nd edition of the tournament. The biennial tournament started in 1957 making it older than the European Championship.
The Stars qualified for the Afcon with the hope of bringing the trophy home. The thirst for the trophy goes way back to 1982 which was the fourth win for the Black Stars. Some Ghanaians, who are deeply rooted in football, have suggested the team be collapsed.
According to some, players concentrate on the huge monies allocated to them rather than focusing on how to play and win the trophy. This, they believe, has reduced the team’s standard in comparison to previous years.
Millions of tax payer’s money is spent on the Stars but the country has not recorded good results. The country’s financial purse has always found ways and means for catering to the needs of the Stars, but their performances have always had question marks attached.
On the other hand, the Women’s National Team, the Black Queens, seems to have been forgotten. The Black Queens have been runners-up to the Falcons of Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations series in 2015.
In early 2018, they defeated Ivory Coast to win the maiden West African Football Union (WAFU) Women Cup tournament held in Abidjan.
Despite their efforts in raising the country’s flag high, our Queens are missing from the public space. They have not gained much publicity as compared to their male counterparts- the Black Stars.
Unlike the attention, time and sponsorship given to the Stars, the Queens mostly struggle to get support, sponsorship and financial assistance from government and stakeholders.
Why don’t we as a country equally give the Black Queens all the logistics they may need during tournaments?
Our men are failing to shine. The country’s flag has not been raised by the team in a very long time. On the contrary, our Queens have proven worthy of our support; physical, emotional and financial. This is the time to focus on the Black Queens.
The Black Stars are not shining. Our Black Queens are. But they don’t get our full support. Why not?
By: Theresa Adezewa Ayittey
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.