Ghana and the World Cup
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GHANA & THE WORLD CUP
Ghana and football
Ghana and football
In Ghana, football is the sport. From an early age, Ghanaians really do eat, drink, and sleep football. To play for the Black Stars, Ghana's national team, is every schoolboy's dream. Britain’s first black professional footballer, Arthur Wharton, was Ghanaian. He came to the UK in 1882 and died in the 1930s. A more recent major Ghana player is Marcel Desailly who played in the French team that won the World Cup in 1998 nad now lives in Accra (he built the unique Lizzy's Sports Complex in East Legon). Many current Black Stars play in Europe.
The Black Stars have won the Africa Cup of Nations four times (in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982), making Ghana the second most successful team in the contest's history, behind Egypt. The Black Satellites were runners up in the 1993 and 2001 editions of the Under-20 World Cup after losing to Brazil and Argentina, respectively. After going through 2005 unbeaten, Ghana won the FIFA most improved team of the year award and they reached the second round of the 2006 Germany World Cup.
With the 2010 African Cup of Nations and the first ever World Cup played in the continent, 2010 was a unique year for football in Africa. It was a special year for Ghana football as well:
- Ghana beat Brazil 4 - 3 on penalties in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup final in Cairo International Stadium on October 16, 2009 to become the first African side to win the tournament,
- the national team narrowly lost in the CAN final,
- it was among the 32 teams in the world that qualified for the World Cup and one of the only four African nations (out of 53 countries). In the first round, Ghana played Germany, Serbia ad Australia, all better ranked teams. They respectively ranked 32, 6, 15 and 20 before the World Cup. With Ghana, almost reaching the semis, the FIFIA rankings are now Germany 4, Australia 20, Ghana 23 and Serbia 13.
Ghana was again among the 32 teams in the world that qualified for the World Cup taking place in Brazil this time from June 12 to July 13, 2014.
In the first round, Ghana played in Group G and was eliminated in the first round:
Group A - Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, Cameroon
Group B - Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia
Group C - Colombia, Greece, Ivory Coast, Japan
Group D - Uruguay, Costa Rica, England, Italy
Group E - Switzerland, Ecuador, France, Honduras
Group F - Argentina, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Iran, Nigeria
Group G - Germany, Portugal, Ghana, United States
Group H - Belgium, Algeria, Russia, South Korea
The 2014 World Cup ended for Ghana with a bad performance (exiting at group stage) while, on July 13, Germany took the trophy from Spain, suprisingly eliminated on the first round as well.
The 2018 World Cup will be held in Russia.
In the CAN African Cup 2015, Ghana lost again in the final, against Ivory Coast.
In the CAN African Cup 2017, Ghana lost in semi-final to Cameroon who beat Egypt in the final for a fifth title.
The 2019 edition will take place in Cameroon.
Black Stars Coach
In April 2012, the Ghana Football Association appointed James Kwesi Appiah as the new head coach of the Black Stars. Appiah, assistant coach of the Black Stars since 2008, replaces Serbian Goran Stevanovic, who was sacked last month after Ghana's failure to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final. This was a surprise appointment as Appiah, who led the Ghana under-23 side to victory at the 2011 All African Games but is inexperienced at the highest level.
After the bad performance of Ghana at the 2014 World Cup, the ex-Ghanaian international was replaced. Avram Grant, an Israeli football manager (born on 6 February 1955), is the Coach of the senior national team of Ghana, Black Stars, from November 2014. Grant has spent the majority of his career coaching and managing in Israel, winning a number of national league and cup victories with different teams, and also managing the Israeli national team for four years.
He led Ghana to a Silver place in the 2015 African Cup.
The coach position was vacant since the end of the African Cup in February 2017 and James Kwesi Appiah, 56, is back as the Black Stars coach since May 1, 2017.
Ghana Football Association
FIFA world Cup website