OFF SEASON BLUES
Kojo Addae Mensah
Posted on: Fri Jun 29, 2012
The off season is always a challenge for us non journalist who write out of the love for the club game and country. Especially when the newspaper you write for is also skewed towards a particular club. So during these moments, I am challenged most with coming out with appropriate article that will be relevant to my numerous readers.
So today permit me if I seem to be going wishy washy a bit but I am sure you will understand. Also it has been such a busy week for me for bread and butter matters criss crossing the Volta Region where as usual it was revealing at how much work we have to do as a country to progress. If you heard in the news about the Dambai Hohoe road, I was a victim of it and had to turn round because of a broken down trailer in the middle of the road while the sides had flooded. It was an experience.
Anyway today I will make some forays around the world and share my thoughts on various issues across the sporting world. I will start off with the Euros which has gotten more exciting as the tournament has progressed. I was not enjoying the tournament in the initial stages as I thought the teams were playing too cautiously and not having fun. As the tournament has progressed I think it has become a bit more exciting and unpredictable.
England as usual made a lot of noise but were kicked out at the quarter final stage as usual. For me it is a pity though that England went out that early as the tournament organizers will no doubt prove that with the exit of England, sales of a lot of stuff drops. Typical was on the night when England were kicked out by Italy, it was as if there was nothing happening in the city as everybody was quietly filing out of the stadium.
Imagine if England had won. The whole place would have been turned into one big party so I know that for FIFA and UEFA, it is always good for them to have England in a tournament as they are very good in supporting and patronizing tournaments to make them exciting.
Of course everybody myself included is surprised at what World Cup finalist Holland put up. It was very disappointing to see them go out that way with all their galaxy of stars but that is football for you. Greece could not put up another fairy tale display but made some of us think it was about to happen when they equalized against Germany.
However the German efficiency was on show as soon as that happened and this is the type of efficiency that I think they are going to use to win the trophy. My money is on the Germans though they will meet their nemesis Italy. At the time of going to press the game was not yet on but I think this time round Germany will overcome Italy and get into the final to revenge their loss to Spain. The Spanish are playing well but teams have proven that they can defend against them so they are beatable.
The issue of goal line technology came alive again. I am a full supporter of using whatever technology is available to make the game better. I do not think the argument about what happens during my Saturday knock about game is going on or even with all due respect the Ghana Premier League is going on how we would use the technology.
I believe that if the technology is introduced the Football Associations will start looking for the funding to implement them. Does every stadium have a score board? No but score boards are technology driven and used at all games. After all Berekum Chelsea for example wanting to play their group matches so badly at Berekum have put in the investment to upgrade their park so it is acceptable to CAF for their games to be played there so I believe FIFA should stop this thing about soccer being a game for all to ensure that technology is brought to bear.
Not only for the goal line but for as many decisions as possible. How many seconds does it take to check with the video referee for a decision. We see it in motor racing, tennis, cricket, American football and a lot of other sports. I don’t see why it can’t be done in soccer. We have come from days when players were fully treated on the field of play wasting more time than we can check a quick replay from all angles to get a decision right. The use of the fourth official on the touchline has proved that we are humans after all and that the best way to go is technology.
The no money syndrome runs through the industry again. I heard the national athletes nearly did not make it to Benin and was asking myself. Is this not the same Ghana Olympic Committee that had a leadership battle that lasted for more than a year? What has changed then or has it even gotten worse? I also heard that the maidens and the princesses had some issues as a result of no money syndrome.
These days I am very careful not to make forays into the political world but just a little point I want to make is that investing in sports is a very good way of working on the unemployment issues and one successful sportsman may end up looking after many households. Sports bring discipline and take the youth off the street. It ripples into other industries as well and may not require further direct investment into those other areas.
I wonder why sports therefore always have no money syndrome around it. For me, education, sports, health and agric are the major areas I would have focused on if given four years. At least after the four years, I know I would have done something positive for these four areas rather than try and do very little for all thirty something ministries in that short period. The next person can come and take it from there.
On Sunday Kotoko meet Berekum Chelsea in the President’s Cup. Ceremonial match as it may sound, I think we need to establish our superiority over them so we can win another piece of silverware in the cabinet. It should also serve as preparation for the impending South African tour and ultimately to test the use of some players we may bring in for next season. I hope to see you at the stadium to cheer our believed champions. I remain your true red fabulous aficionado. Kotoko Beku Me.
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