The Minister-designate for Youth and Sports, Mustapha Ussif has called on all stakeholders to come on board to improve Ghana’s performance in international football tournaments.
Mr. Ussif, who appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Thursday, February 25, 2021, said “Our performance in international tournaments when it comes to football is something we have to look at as a country. What I have observed is that preparation for tournaments is done in the year of the tournament.”
“If given the opportunity, I will engage the stakeholders like GFA and the National Sports Authority (NSA) to see how we can have a plan [for these competitions]. As a country, we have to come together and see how best we can have a comprehensive short-term and medium-term plan for our national teams so that we can improve our ratings,” the Youth and Sports Minister-designate added.
Mr. Ussif also hinted that there is a Sports Development Fund in the works.
“The briefing I got from the National Sports authority is that currently, there is an ongoing process to establish a Sports Development Fund. This is to enable the Authority to commercialise sports for revenue generation. Plans are far advanced, per the briefing I’ve received.”
Performance of Ghanaian football team throughout the years
The Black Stars won three West African titles in 1963 and made history as the first Sub-Saharan African country to win the African Cup of Nations in 1963 when they hosted the tournament.
They won the cup in style by beating Sudan three goals to nil. The scorers on the final were Aggrey Fyn and Edward Acquah, who scored a brace.
The Black Stars emerged winners of the 1965 AFCON tournament again. They had to overcome tournament hosts Tunisia in a dramatic final. They also made history with the win by becoming the first African country to beat the host nation in the AFCON final.
The Black Stars won the AFCON for the third time in 1978.
Ghana won another AFCON in 1982 when they beat Libya on penalties increasing their tally in the tournament to four cups. Unfortunately, this was their last triumph in the tournament.
Since then, they have finished second three times, third once and fourth four times. In the latest tournament in 2019, they were bundled out in the Round of 16.
After trying to reach the World Cup for several years, the Black Stars made a breakthrough in 2006 under the guidance of Ratomir Djokovic. In the tournament, they also became the first African country to reach the last 16, but they could not beat the then world champions Brazil.
Four years later, they qualified for the first-ever World Cup held on African soil in South Africa. In the tournament, they equaled the record held by Senegal and Cameroon as the other African country to reach the tournament’s semis. However, they were stopped by Luis Suarez’s tactical handball in injury time to deny them a goal-scoring opportunity. Captain Asamoah Gyan blasted the penalty wide, taking the African football fans’ hopes with it. They made it to the next World Cup but were eliminated.