2019 will definitely go down as one of the most disappointing years in the history of Ghana football.
Bar the men’s 4 by 100m team that pulled off a surprise at the African Games and the Ghana Rugby Federation that made some giant strides in the year, it has been doom and gloom for Ghana sports.
Richard Commey whose IBF Lightweight title brought the country some pride, had to give away the title after being pummeled by American boxer Teifemo Lopez.
However, the sport that was heavily hit by the wave of failure that swept across the country’s sporting landscape is football.
Still reeling from the impact of the Number12 documentary, the sport that usually serves the nation joy and excitement became the country’s source of disappointment in 2019.
In five tournaments competed by five of the eight national teams, not a single trophy was annexed by any of the national football teams.
For the past six editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana has always finished among the final four but the script was flipped in 2019.
Undone by poor preparations, the absence of a working management committee, technical issues and sheer lack of quality, the team had its worst finish in the AFCON since 2008 when it finished in second round of the 2019 edition which was staged in Egypt.
Tunisia sent Ghana packing from the tournament via shootouts victory at the tournament which was eventually won by Mahrez’s Algeria.
The team bounced back from an underwhelming AFCON to win the opening two matches of the 2021 AFCON qualifies against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.
Aided by the two victories, the Stars who started the year as the 52nd best football team in the world, ended on an improved position of 49.
The winners of the 2018 edition of the WAFU Nations Cup could not defend their title as they lost 4-2 to the Super Eagles on penalties.
Mercy Tagoe’s Ladies did well to pick up bronze i after an 8-7 victory over Mali in the third place play off.
The Queens however managed to keep their rating on the continent (4th) but dropped significantly in the global rankings from 51st in March to 60th in December. The slip is as a result of defeats in the 2020 Olympic Games Qualifier against Kenya.
Black Stars B
The team had only one task, which was to qualify for the 2020 Africa Nation’s Championship and they failed miserably.
A 1-0 home defeat against Burkina Faso proved costly as the team failed to muster a comeback in the return fixture in Ouagadougou in October. The team also finished second at the 2019 WAFU CHAN tournament which was held in Senegal.
Ghana’s under-20 side participated in the 2019 Africa Youth Championship which was hosted by Niger from February 2 to 17, 2019.
The Satellites were placed in Group B alongside Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso.
Coach Jimmy Cobblah’s men were eliminated from the group phase after losing their final group game 1-0 to Mali.
The team’s failure to make it to last four of the tournament means Ghana will not be represented at the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Championship.
Arguably the best national soccer team of the year. The Meteors amidst tough circumstances were a penalty away from qualifying for the Olympic Games for the first time in fourteen years.
The team made it to the tournament after beating Algeria 2-1 on aggregate. Ghana missed out on qualification to next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after losing to South Africa 6-5 on penalties.
No show for Black Princesses and Black Maidens and Starlets
It was a year of no show for the Princesses, Maidens and Starlets after they failed to qualify for their respective tournaments which were staged within the year.
Black Princesses’ major activity came in August 2018 which was the FIFA under-20 Women’s World Cup same as the Maidens who last participated in the 2018 Under-17 World Cup.
The Starlets did not participate in any major tournament after losing to Nigeria on penalties in the final of the WAFU U17 tournament in Niger