The Yawning Disregard For Women Football In Ghana

“Quite frankly, I am sick to the stomach when it has to do with the National Women football Team in this country.’’ This was what pollster Ben Ephson opined, when he was quizzed briefly about the barrage of bugs that has plagued the women football in recent times.

Ok! Hang on a second! Why this intimation from someone who lives and breathes politics? Well, basically, a news item which featured the Black Maidens was covered by ‘’News Tonight’’, a flagship news bulletin of GHONE TV, which seeks to highlight news from all nooks and crannies.

Apparently, the Black Maidens had vehemently objected to leaving their hotel accommodations, following the apparent failure of the Ghana Football Association to make a part payment of their per-diem. Few days after the news broke, plus the accompanied rage on social media, the GFA shamefully yielded to the demands of the girls. Then again, ever wondered why the GFA would withhold what is rightfully due the girls? Well, your guess is as good as mine. As if that is not enough, it was again reported by this same network the following week that the black princesses had ran out of sanitary pads; something I considered completely ridiculous.

And now, to put things into proper perspective, these two notwithstanding, are the few problems bedeviling the women football in Ghana. While I brooded over the plights of our women soccer, I wondered why a team which has being touted as one of the best in the sub region, and subsequently gone ahead to chalk enviable feats way better than their male counterparts, more and more suffer this unbearable fate and be treated with such disdain. If pollster Ben Ephson, who concerns himself with hardcore politics on the regular, will offer to intimate his thought like this, then it obviously goes to affirm one thing; and that is, the country has no love and respect for the women’s soccer -and justifiably so!

Truly, we have relegated everything and anything concerning the National Women’s soccer to the background. The gaping apathy shown during their football matches and the attendant fever in the build up to these matches, that is if there is any at all, just for me, asserts the tag my friend labels the national Women Football with “an absolute afterthought” a tag that has soon become synonymous to the former. We often pride ourselves on being a football loving nation, but we’re just beautifully and cautiously retracing the footsteps of the proverbial mother who says ‘’she loves all her children, but really has only one favorite who she continuously lavishes goodies on. Exactly! Does the country we’ve so become, only concerned about the Senior National Team (The Black Stars), who half of the time break our hearts and make us question if our continuous pride in them is really and truly worth it; while on the flip side, however, we do nothing or little about the rest, who are doing their utmost to ultimately gladden our hearts thereof.

For a piece such as this, I felt a good comparison from the West will strike a good balance and keep things in a better perspective. So here is what, even though women soccer across the world does not attract the expected euphoria and ecstasy as the male soccer. Asia, America and Europe seem to be making some significant inroads with their women soccer. Essentially, these continents have more than ever resolved and committed enough to efficiently and effectively breach the sports gap, and bring the women soccer up to par with the male soccer. Interestingly, they have come up with exciting policies and programs that involve the full participation of the populace and help them contribute their quota in every way possible to keep the growth of sports in leaps and bounds. Mention a case in point, and America sharply comes to mind. In the Americas, a weekly test of question and answer is conducted via social media and other platforms accessible to all, where questions about women soccer feature prominently to allow participants to win mouth-watering prizes. Giant moves such as this, as being lauded by many, helps the citizenry to know a lot more about their players and also enables them in keeping up with everything they should know about them. This by extension contributes to checking apathy among others.

Regrettably though, these and many more cannot be said of our people here, which of course, leave me at pains therein. Where does the buck really stop? The Ghana Football Association obviously! Are they right and ready to accept it? Certainly not! Actually, the GFA itself has got its own peculiar challenges, and so suggesting that they bare the cross will be a clear case of insult to injury. But, let’s face it, whose major responsibility is it to fix the hiccups within the National Women Football Team? Well, I am sorry, but, it is the duty of the GFA unfortunately; the body mandated to steer the affairs of the former. So, would it be off limit to say that the current GFA is’’ incompetent,’’ as we have being made to understand in our body politics as someone who is incapable of steering the affairs of his house? Perhaps, they would have to answer these themselves.

In the wake of the prevailing challenges of the NWFT, the bubbly broadcast journalist, Nana Aba Anamoah, and the stylish lawyer, Sandra Ankobiah took the pains after broader consultation with the ministry of Youth and Sports to use their collective brands to solicit sponsorship for one of their own. The two outspoken women have since been unveiled as the women ambassadors of the NWFT, indicating the commerce of work for the women and also the dawn of a new era for NWFT. As expected, many including my good-self welcomed the news with great relief tipping it as a ray of hope for the gallant women, but it looked as though this will be short-lived as the women disclosed recently that, corporate institutions and Ghanaians in general, are unwilling to lend a hand of assistance to the NWFT. Nonetheless, one company which stood tall when all seem gloom and doom for the women is Unibank. Yes! Unibank donated hundred thousand Ghana cedis to the wellbeing of the NWFT, and this was made possible by the two ambassadors.

Lest I forget, just a quick note to thank Unibank for this kind gesture, but even more importantly, it will take me and you to contribute our widow’s mite in every way we can, to bring some respite to the National Women Football Team. In an age where social media is fast becoming the wealth and power society, we can rely heavily on it to promote football matches of the NWFT. A small squeeze of our whatsapp airtime would not hurt. Let’s all utilize all the social media platforms available to us to make the women soccer in this country also count.

Additionally, the Ghana Football Association, the Ministry of Youths and Sports,and all who matters should readjust their seats and get down to business, so that the National Women Football Team can live to tell their tales someday.

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