Moments and events that shaped Ghana football this decade

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Today is the last day of 2019. It also represents the last day of a decade (2009 -2019). A decade which has seen some very remarkable highs for Ghana Sports and some very depressing lows as well.

As we close the chapter on the year and the decade, here are some of the events, and moments we at GhanaWeb believe shaped the destiny of the country’s sports the last 10 years.

Winning 2009 U-20 World Cup

The decade really started well for Ghana football and Ghana sports in general. Why?

The Black Satellites went to the land of Fathia and brought home a historic trophy.

Ghana made history as the first African nation to ever win the World u-20 Championship.

Andre Ayew, Ransford Osei, Jonathan Mensah and Adiyiah were among a crop of young players that made Ghanaians proud by beating Brazil on penalties to lift the cup.

2010 World Cup and Africa Cup

2010 was a year we prefer to describe as near misses for Ghana football. The 2010 World Cup is without a shred a doubt that highest point for the Black Stars and Ghanaians in the last three decades.

The Stars came out of the group stages being the African country to reach progress which earned them love from multitudes across the continent.

The entire country erupted when that Asamoah Gyan shot went past the United States goalie to rattle the net.

Ghana’s joined an exclusive list of African countries to have made it to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

The same Gyan who sent the team to the quarters also fluffed a last-minute penalty against Uruguay.

2014 FIFA World Cup

After two successive and relative impressive appearances in 2006 and 2010, there was great optimism that 2014 was going to be the year that the Black Stars finally reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. The optimism steam from the fact that Ghana had assembled arguably its best squad in years for the tournament.

Muntari, Prince Boateng, Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, the Ayew brothers, and Essien were all in the squad.

Sadly, it turned out to be a tournament to forget as disagreement over appearances fees degenerated and resulted in fisticuffs between some players and Management members of the team.

It also led to the expulsion of Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng from the team camp and the national team. And they both have not featured for the country since then.

On the pitch, the Black Stars failed to advance beyond the group stage of the tournament while picking about just a point in 3 games.

A government Commission of Inquiry was set up to investigate the cause of the chaos that engulfed the team before, during and after the tournament in Brazil. That Commission, led by Justice Senyo Dzamefe was big feature in Ghana football this decade.

2015 AFCON Final

Another AFCON, another near miss for Ghana. And this time was even more painful because the Black Stars took a two-goal advantage in the penalty shootouts and yet somehow Ghana managed to lose 8-9 on penalties.

Goalkeeper Boubacar Barry saved and scored the crucial spot-kicks that handed Ivory Coast a dramatic 9-8 penalty shootout win over Ghana in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Barry, who appeared to cramp up during the shootout, denied fellow keeper Brimah Razak – one of five efforts missed – before slotting in the winner.

Victory gave the Ivorians their second title, in a repeat of the 1992 final.

That year, Ivory Coast won 11-10 on penalties also after a goalless draw.

The rise and fall of Kwesi Nyantakyi

One of the biggest Ghana football stories of the decade certainly has to be the rapid rise and equally rapid fall of Kwesi Nyantakyi.

Nyantakyi for the best part of the decade was the face of Ghana football. He did some really good things. Spearheading three consecutive FIFA World Cup qualifications was top of his achievements and whether you liked him or not, what was evidently clear was his smartness, his ability to pull support to push through whatever he wanted.

His brilliance shone across the continent and saw him climbing to become the President of WAFU, Vice President of CAF and a FIFA Executive Council member. Kwesi Nyantakyi for want of a better word was part of the most powerful people in sports in his country, continent and the world at large.

But like everything mortal, it ends. Nyantakyi was getting to the end of his reign, accused of being power corrupt. He was accused of focusing more on his personal advancement than the good of Ghana football. His relationships with previous vice presidents painted a picture of a man who was intolerant and when celebrated journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas released his famous Number 12 documentary in June 2018, it marked the beginning of the end for Mr Nyantakyi.

Kwesi Nyantakyi was filmed apparently accepting a “cash gift”.

He was pictured taking $65,000 (£48,000) from an undercover reporter pretending to be a businessman.

Ghana Football Association (GFA) announced on 8 June, hours after the ban was put in place, that Mr Nyantakyi had stepped down as its president.

Kurt Okraku becomes new GFA boss

The end of the Nyantakyi reign meant a new leader for Ghana football was needed. But first there were 18 months or so of Normalization where Dr Kofi Amoah, Dua Adonteng, Lucy Quist and Naa Odofoley were asked to steer football administration until normalcy is restored.

Their job wasn’t all rosy but at the end of the day, they managed to change some aspects of the FA Statues and prepared the grounds for a new leader.

On October 25, Kurt Okraku became the new president of the Ghana Football Association after edging a close election that required three rounds of voting.

The 48-year-old former sports journalist was endorsed with 93 votes in the third round after his closest challenger, the former Ghana Football Association vice-president George Afriyie, had conceded defeat.

Okraku had won every round against four other candidates before eventually winning the crucial vote to become the 24th president of the Ghana FA.

“I am really humbled for this unique opportunity,” Okraku said.

“It is time for us to work, look into the future with hope and build a solid foundation.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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