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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Editorial: We are proud to be Ghanaians

The national Under-20 soccer team, the Black Satellites, last Friday made the history of being the first African country to win the FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament hosted by Egypt. The national junior team was in the finals of the tournament in 1993 and 2001, but failed to win the trophy on both occasions.

It is therefore not surprising that the entire country and the continent of Africa went gay when Agyeman Badu slotted home the last penalty kick to win the trophy for Ghana, for the first time in the history of the competition.

From Bawku to Elubo and from Wa to Aflao, Ghanaians poured onto the streets to celebrate the feat, and the jubilation lasted deep into the night, with alleged reports of lives lost during the ecstatic euphoria that engulfed the country.

The jubilation was climaxed with the massive crowd that thronged the Kotoka International Airport on Saturday to welcome the team home. The crowd patiently waited for their gallant heroes, who arrived very late in the night.

After chalking such an enviable feat, the Satellites have succeeded in making us feel proud to be Ghanaians. Since Ghana gained independence in 1957, she has set enviable records for the rest of the African countries to emulate.

For instance, Ghana was the first sub-Sahara African country to gain political independence from colonial rule. Ghana’s democratic practice is now rated as one of the best on the continent.

Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian, was the first West African to head the United Nations.

In football, we have always been the trail-blazers, Ghana was the first to win the African Cup of Nations four times, the first African country to reach the semi-finals of the Olympic Games Soccer Tournament; the first African country to qualify for the first-ever world cup to be hosted in Africa, and now we are the first African country to win the World Under-20 soccer competition. The country has also won the world Under-17 soccer fiesta on two different occasions.

The Chronicle thinks our national football teams have made significant history in world soccer, and we should all be proud of this achievement.

Playing against a crack team like Brazil for close to 90 minutes with ten men, and not conceding any goal in regulation and extra time, is certainly worth praising.

We congratulate the entire team, including the technical bench, for making the entire country proud.

It is our hope that the government, led by President Mills who is a sports man himself, would reciprocate the gesture by making a special offer to the team to spur others in future to achieve the same feat.

For us at The Chronicle, we say Ayeekoo to the team.

Credit: Chronicle/Ghana

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