Black Stars trip to USA off, Obama Tournament cancelled over visa problems

Published on: 18 May 2010

Ghana's trip to the United States to play in the Obama Tournament is off after the organizers cancelled the event less than a week before it was to be held.

Five international teams initially were scheduled to meet over the weekend of February 12; then the matches were switched to May 21-23 with teams from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Malaysia and Puerto Rico slated to participate.

But the local Black Stars who were supposed to represent Ghana at the tournament failed to secure their visas for the tournament, organizers said.

"We’ve canceled,” said Pius Oleh, a former defender for Nigeria’s senior national team who created the event.

“All the teams didn’t get a visa."

The Football Association of Malaysia released a statement today saying it withdrew its team from the Green Soccer Bowl because "there were issues with Ghana’s and Puerto Rico’s visa application, hence their withdrawal."

Oleh said ticket buyers will be issued refunds. He said he didn’t know how many tickets had been sold.

When the event was announced in February, it was met with skepticism by those in the local soccer community.

Roger Faulkner, president of the 1994 FIFA World Cup Detroit host committee, wondered then about Ghana’s involvement.

“I’m surprised that Ghana would send their whole national squad over here to play a game on artificial turf a month before the (World Cup) games are played in South Africa, but apparently that’s the case,” Faulkner said at the time.

Faulkner said today he felt sorry for Oleh, but wasn’t surprised the event was canceled.

"I told him some months ago that I did not believe this was viable," Faulkner said.

"I think it was a brave effort, but it just wasn’t going to happen."

Faulkner said Andreas Apostolopoulos, the Toronto real estate developer who recently bought the Silverdome in an auction for $583,000, is a soccer supporter.

Faulkner hopes that soccer eventually will return to the Silverdome.

The venue hosted first-round games in the 1994 World Cup and was home to the Detroit Express of the now-defunct North American Soccer League in 1978-80.

Comments

  • TRIBE FROM KING SOLOMON
    says: 9 years ago
    I'M SAD TO HEAR THAT.I WAS LOOKIN FORWARD FOR THAT TOURNAMENT.
  • CROZZY
    says: 9 years ago
    I'M NOT SUPRISED THEY HAD VISA PROBLEMS,EVEN OUR MINISTER OF ENERGY WAS DENIED A VISA TO THE USA,ITS A SHAME THAT SUCH THINGS HAPPEN,REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT CAUSES THESE PROBLEMS BUT THEY OCUUR A LOT WE GOTTA FIND A SOLUTION TO IT.
  • Trix from Vandal City,UG
    says: 9 years ago
    Oh what a shame! The US simply doesn't respect us yet they keep granting terrorists visas to go blast their damned country. Well I think it's because we beat them at the last WC in Germany. They are just trying to stall our preparation for the tournament in SA but trust me if we get them again we are going to whip their scared ass again.
  • Kwesi
    says: 9 years ago
    its because we denied them of our oil
  • RICH
    says: 9 years ago
    Its because they have no regards for the NDC party. They think NDC party its just playing politics with everything for their own selfish interest. If a whole Minister of finance can say in front of parliament that the grow of Ghana's economy I mean the increase in our gross domestic products [GDP.] by 7 percent during NPP rule is unsustainable because the country was dealing in cocaine. And resently just came out with a false story that the national airline Ghana Airways, is running a drug gang with national security pesonnel. If the NDC party is destroying the good name of Ghana, how then will a country like USA. take us serious?. And they should stop dreaming that a US company will take the risk to discover oil and allow NDC party to sell it to China for their selfish interest.
  • capo
    says: 9 years ago
    No Politics please, actually i was hoping it would come on i was really looking unto our local black stars to see what they can do on international stage
  • Maxwell Johnson
    says: 9 years ago
    Folks no politics plz,we are here to discuss about football and nothing else.Those politicians should go to hell cuz i don't give a str_repeat('*',strlen('fuck')) about them at all.