Football part II

1 02 2008

Normally Monday night in Tamale is quiet, very quiet. In fact it, except for the absence of rolling brushwood, it could serve as a set for one of those creepy scenes in a western where the hero faces the villain in the middle of a deserted town. But not this Monday, instead it was more like the scene after the hero has shot the evil sheriff who’s been terrorising the town and the locals are partying. And the locals were partying, even dancing in the streets. Every vehicle was using their horn and crowds cheered from the tops of passing trucks, waving the red gold and green tricolour. In fact the Ghanaian flag was everywhere, flag shirts and hats, wrapped around shoulders and flown from motorbikes and cars. You would have thought that Ghana had one a small war but in fact they had only qualified for the quarter finals of the Africa cup, beating Morocco convincingly. Now they need to beat Nigeria on Sunday and win the following two games before they triumphantly lift the cup in Accra next Sunday. When that happens I expect Tamale to really go wild.

Since Ghana are playing all their games in Accra I haven’t been able to watch them live, instead I’ve been limited to TVs of varying qualities in bars of varying qualities. One match was watched with a black strip about an inch wide across the centre of the screen. Generally I’ve been surrounded by local pundits expressing their wisdom about the game. Most of my VSO colleagues in Accra have got to Ghana games, with two even getting to the first match and opening ceremony. I have got to a couple of games here in Tamale, I watched Cameroon put 3 goals past Sudan and Angola and Tunisia play a slightly dull 0-0 match which guaranteed both teams a place in the quarter finals. Oddly the local Peace Corp vols have been adopted by the Tunisian team and were there in Tunisian shirts cheering their team along wildly, who acknowledged them after the match by throwing them their match shirts.

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