The conventional wisdom in Ghana these days is that no one cares about the Black Stars. That wisdom does not hold in Tamale where the team arrived on Wednesday ahead of a world cup qualifier against Uganda on Friday.
The side was met by an enthusiastic crowd at the Tamale Airport before a reasonably large crowd turned up to the Tamale Stadium to see them train in the scorching heat, cheering every move that the players made.
Some of the affection was hired with sponsored groups carrying banners of different players everywhere but it is not in denial too that here, they value the Black Stars much more than they do these days in Accra or Kumasi.
“We have been happy with the welcome”, Ghana coach Avram Grant said. “The people have been nice to us so far and we are hoping that on Friday we would make them happy in return by winning.”
Grant has not been impressed by the pitch the player have to use claiming for a country with so much passion for football, the quality of basic facilities is disappointing.
It was not a subject his players were particularly interested in especially for those for whom this represents a home coming. Mubarak Wakasso and Baba Rahman both of whom would definitely start on Friday and Majeed Warris were born here and retain a strong attachment to the town.
“It’s always nice to play before your home crowd so I am definitely happy the game is here”, Rahman said. Wakasso c laimed where the game is played does not matter ‘even though as you saw, the people of Tamale love this team which is very important.”
By Michael Oti Adjei|TV3 Sports|Ghana