Africa Must Strive for Multiple Successes
African football authorities must practice youth systems if they want to see multiple success at that level.
Amidst the fire crackers, pouring of champagnes, and celebrations that came to a crescendo at the Cairo International Stadium to herald the victory of the Black Satellites of Ghana as the World Under-20 football champions last year, for the playing body, the handlers, officials, caretakers and for Ghana as a football nation, the ecstatic and hilarious atmosphere must not take away the discipline that brought them this far.
It’s was sixteen long years since their first final and eight years since their second final. Followers of youth football who still have memories of their campaigns within the period would agree that, it had been very jerky and rocky treading that path. Today the Ghanaian can clean the dust and the weariness on his face and say, “we have arrived”. But is that the place of rest? It is very easy to take a huge sigh of relief and stop there as is a characteristic of the typical African after laboring to achieve a major success.
The growth of African football has been handled the hard way over the years, making it rather difficult to experience multiple successes as we can say for a fact that, the Brazilians and the Argentines would seek to consolidate their position and emphasize their supremacy, anytime they win a trophy at the youth level. The Argentines are on record to have won the championship six times whereas their Brazilian counterparts are on record to have won it, four times. So that even though Africa is still jubilating today, their success should be our benchmark.
In a continent that finds it difficult to have a systematic growth in football, raising youth academies and keeping to the system has always been lacking with African soccer. That is the reason it is difficult for soccer analysts to stick-their-necks-out whenever an African side is defending a trophy as the Ghana Black Satellites has been doing so far in the qualifiers. They have already edged-out Namibia and Benin is their next opponents.
The united force that featured in the 2009 final will be hitting the age limit and beyond and therefore not qualified to play next year. But then there is still the need to ensure team spirit, cohesion and formidability in the squad that takes the stage next year should they make it through the qualifying rounds. The question is: “Can Ghana raise an all conquering side again that took the whole world by storm”?
It is my hope and wish that Ghana would take these elements of success very seriously as they go through the qualifying rounds to the championship next year and strive beyond their means to break the limit that stands before the African anytime they are bent of repeating success. It is a character that must be borne within the heart of the African player.