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Ghana's No. 1
OPINION: Ghana football needs urgent rescuing
Asante Kotoko lost to ES Setif last Sunday in their CAF Confederation Cup final qualifying round first leg tie.

Recent happenings in football on the local scene point to an inconspicuous but very steady decline of the game in Ghana. In fact, it is so sad to see how the level of football in Ghana keeps plummeting both at the national team and club level without any serious effort being made to salvage the situation.

Judging from some of the recent matches played by clubs in our local leagues and the various national teams, the level of ineptitude displayed by our players nowadays is so surprising that one wonders what our coaches and managers actually do at their daily training sessions.

There is no shred of doubt that Ghana is fast losing its clout and pedigree at the various age competitions at continental and global stage while other countries such as Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and even Burkina Faso are rising so fast.

This has led to a situation where almighty Ghana, the much-touted Brazil of African Football in the past, is hurriedly falling into the class of minnows when we play in these competitions.

As for the level of technical and tactical bankruptcy the players of our local leagues display in matches, the least said about it the better. This has manifested clearly in how our teams have so easily been bundled out the various CAF competitions by hitherto unknown teams in recent years.

I watched with great concern Asante Kotoko's last two matches against Al Hilal Omdurman in the 2018 and 2021 CAF Champions League competition as well as last Sunday's poor show against ES Setif of Algeria.

One could clearly see from these games that the level of our game in Ghana is dishearteningly low. The players are so poor in basic football techniques such as passing, breaking, crossing, shooting, taking free-kicks, you name them.

They don't play to any set pattern and lack fluidity that makes football exciting compared to the teams we play against from other countries.

The level of football intelligence our players put on display in their games nowadays leaves a lot to be desired and calls into question the technical and tactical work our coaches put into developing our players and teams to the standards we see elsewhere.

You would wonder what kind of training regimes these players go through on weekly basis that lead to the low- quality output we see on the field.

Anyone who has watched and carefully analyzed recent matches Ghanaian teams have played in Africa is left to wonder how often our players practice basic football techniques and skills such as ball control, passing, shooting at goal, crossing, among others with the view to achieving high level of accuracy in real match situations as demonstrated by the players of the teams from other countries.

It is very obvious that Ghana football is on a serious decline but it’s difficult to tell whether the principal actors have failed to recognize this or we do not simply have what it takes in terms of commitment, knowledge, innovativeness and resources to stem this negative tide.

We must also not lose sight of the fact that our local football is increasingly competing for the patronage of Ghanaian football fans with the European leagues that offer far better quality and entertaining football compared to ours.

It is time for the Football People in Ghana including the GFA and its constituent bodies, club owners/administrators, coaches and players to come to terms with this reality and demonstrate urgent commitment to turn things around before Ghanaians completely lose interest in our local brand of football.

Solomon Agyemang Duah

Concerned Football Enthusiast & Analyst, Ashongman, Accra

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