South African football chief Danny Jordaan has hailed the efforts of Ghana at the 2010 World Cup and the general contribution the country made in changing the continent’s fortunes in the tournament.
As Africa celebrates 10 years since hosting the World Cup, this week has been filled with reliving the memories of the past tournament and Ghana has been the centre of it all – given the strides the Black Stars showed at the tournament.
“When the Bafana Bafana dropped out, it left us with only one African team and that was Ghana and we had hoped that Ghana was going to go beyond the quarter final and all of the continent and South Africa embraced Ghana. I think they are quality team and for Abedi and his sons in the team playing in a world cup that he worked hard for,” Jordaan, who was an active member of the team that brought the tournament to Africa, said.
The tournament is mainly remembered for how bad it was for Ghana to have exited in the manner they did. Ghana had the chance to become the first African nation to reach the semi-final of the World Cup – but it wasn’t to be after Suarez’s infamous handball incident. Jordaan remembers vividly
“It was a special night. That night. Ghana vs Uruguay and we certainly had hoped that in an African World Cup, Africa will make it into the semi final if not the final. Ghana had the opportunity to go into the semi final and of course, the second hand of God – Suarez using his hands to push out the ball that was clearly on it’s way into the net and giving Ghana the victory. Of course the missed penalty by Asamoah Gyan and then Ghana going on to miss the penalty shootout and got eliminated. That was the end of Africa’s aspiration to make it to the semi final and final of Africa’s first World Cup. It was a difficult night – that night. All the Ghanaian fans knew they had a team to go the semi final and the final.”
The 2010 World Cup was a moment for Africa to show the world that it was capable of hosting a big event. After so many years the World Cup had gotten here and we couldn’t afford to miss it or make a mess of it. The bidding process though was enduring and Jordaan recounts how strenuous it was for the bidding team to get it here.
Africa’s first World Cup, ten years on. It still fresh in the memory of many Africans.
By Yaw Ofosu Larbi|3news.com|Ghana