Ghana’s parliament is rallying support for the national football team, the Black Star ahead of Friday’s crucial encounter with Nigeria.
Addressing the house on Wednesday, first deputy speaker Joseph Osei-Owusu asked all members to wear Black Stars-branded jerseys to the House on the match day in support of the national team in the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff against Nigeria.
Ghana and Nigeria revive age-old rivalry in the last stage of the qualifiers for the finals scheduled for Qatar in November. Africa is entitled to five teams with the last state of the playoff holding this Friday and next Tuesday. The Black Stars will travel to Nigeria to play the second leg in Abuja.
The Parliament of Ghana also charged former Black Stars players and Ghanaians to desist from making demoralising comments against the team, but rather show the squad more support and encouragement.
The Black Stars have been severely criticised by Ghanaians following the team’s abysmal performance in the 2021 African Cup of Nations tournament which led to the sacking of head coach Milovan Rajevac.
Ghanaians were eliminated at the group stage of that tournament in Cameroon, picking only a point from three matches and losing to minnows Comoros 2-3.
First Deputy Speaker Osei-Owusu, who currently presided over parliament in the absence of the Speaker Alban Bagbin, who is away in Dubai for medical reasons, said it was imperative for members of the parliament to show leadership by demonstrating patriotism on the day of the match.
In his contribution, the member representing New Edubiase, Adam Abdul-Salam noted that the recent performance of the Stars has been nothing to write home about.
He said that although the euphoria when Ghana qualified for a competition could not be quantified in monetary terms, the country derived some financial reward from its participation in the global football fiesta.
He said a qualification by the Black Stars would be the best way to appease Ghanaians on some recent economic troubles.
Chairman of the Youth, Sports and Culture committee, Johnson Kwaku Adu said the importance of the match had prompted the committee to shelve its report on the performance of the Stars in the last AFCON in Cameroon.
Deputy Majority Leader, Alex Afenyo-Markin charged his colleagues against politicising issues about the national teams, and called on the team to stand as a unit.