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Uruguay broke the heart of a whole continent
But African solidarity remains
The world press couldn’t understand how Ghana went out. “What went wrong at the world cup?,” asked Allafrica.com and even the British Daily Telegraph wrote: “I still don’t know what can be said about that. The game itself was decent, but the 119 minutes beforehand will be forgotten. It will go down as one of the most memorable World Cup games of all time thanks to Luis Suarez and Asamoah Gyan.”
Africa’s hope of reaching a seminal final in a world cup history was dashed yesterday as Ghana limped out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It first appeared as If Ghana were going to shoulder that responsibility for the whole continent as millions of viewers across Africa and in the Diaspora sang mama Africa, but a lucky Uruguayan side ended that hope.
Before the build up, Friday’s quarter-final match on an African soil had been the only talk on the continent and Africans were thinking the right moment had come to make history. In South Africa, most of yesterday’s daily news front pages were dedicated to the Ghana team. The Sowetan reads: ‘Africa Unite’, the Daily Star headlined: BaGhana BaGhana, naming the Ghanaian team after the South African Bafana Bafana, and the Mail & Guardian cartooned a heavy bag on the top of an African map, captioned: The Hope of Africa.
That hope was first dampened when Asamoah Gyan threw away a golden opportunity in the 120th minutes of the game after Ghana was awarded a penalty kick in the dying moment and Uruguay whose side had not qualified for a semi final since 1970, won after a penalty shoot out that broke the continent’s heart.
“I am sad, am sad,” said Patrick Waranga from Zambia. “We have all thought it was Africa’s moment, we thought, yes the time has come for us to do this but we couldn’t do it. Luck was not on our side,” said Waranga.
Hundreds of people who had been glued to a large screen watching in a public outlet in Nigeria couldn’t believe the only African hope of the tournament is out. “We tried our best but what can we do?” asked a frustrated Abdul Shitu whose eyes continued to be glued to the screen they had all gathered to watch from afar.
In South Africa, the pain was even more, South African fans who had all been rooting for Ghana, especially against an Uruguayan team that kicked them out of the first round of the tournament, remained on the seat wondering how Ghana had lost. Some were even asking one another if the match had really ended.
The world press also couldn’t understand how Ghana were out. “What went wrong at the world cup,” asked Allafrica.com and even the British Daily Telegraph wrote: “I still don’t know what can be said about that. The game itself was decent, but the 119 minutes beforehand will be forgotten. It will go down as one of the most memorable World Cup games of all time thanks to Luis Suarez and Asamoah Gyan.”
But despite Ghana’s exit, the continent showed the unity of Africa and remain strong for the host nation for a successful and scintillating world cup that had provided many surprises on the pitch.
“Now there is no forward for Ghana, for any African team. But what the Black Stars accomplished during their run is something for all of the African game to emulate, and build from, The shared heartache of a mere game can only work to strengthen that unity,” write George Johnson of Canwest News service.