I have never being a fan of football. Indeed I don’t really understand how the game works. Perhaps I haven’t tried hard enough but I simply can’t understand why a round object made of rubber placed in the middle of a field can cause so much excitement in the world.
Indeed, I always wonder why millions love it, why men will kill for it, swear by it and why thousands queue to watch it. I never appreciate why the World Cup makes the world come to a standstill till it’s all done.
Not that I haven’t tried to understand or like it. It is just not in my blood. After being raised amongst seven girls and a boy it is not surprising that I am not a fan of it. We just didn’t discuss or watch football. Our interest was in fashion, cooking, education, reading, movies and other things but certainly not football.
For the past 16 years, I have tried to take the advantage marriage brings to love football. I had no choice because my husband is a football fanatic. When he is watching football I stay miles away from him. When the Black Stars, Hearts of Oak or Arsenals are playing I just let him be. I can never get him to listen to anything so I just take the time to do something else.
My initial strategy for trying to learn football never worked; I tried to learn with the Black Stars matches. So anytime the Black Stars were playing I will sit with my husband and try to make a sense of the matches or at least wait for a goal. But my senseless shouts of goal when it was nowhere near the goal post and foul when it wasn’t a foul wasn’t helpful and made my husband even more impatient with his ‘football novice wife’.
Now the second strategy was to learn from my son who is more than a football coach. My son knows every relevant footballer, where they play and how well they are doing, but I still couldn’t get him to make me love the game. So I just gave up along the line.
But really, all is not lost yet. There is still something I find exciting about football – the people and their stories. That is not difficult to understand that at all. At least if I don’t know the game well it doesn’t mean I should not get to know the people.
It is no secret that football personalities are amongst the famous people in the world and their fans follow what they do so well. Although I don’t understand football, one of the personalities I like in Ghana is Stephen Appiah.
Stephen Appiah as many of us know is one of the great football personalities we have in Ghana. As I watched his last testimonial match being played I began to realise what a great a person he is. Filling the stadium these days is very difficult because of the lack of interest in local football. However the match which was played yesterday in honour of him attracted thousands of people. Everybody who mattered in football was there and this included a sitting President and two former Presidents of Ghana. This can only be done for someone who is that important, well-loved and legendary. This shows what a great sports man he is having played for several clubs including Juventus.
One of the great testimonials I have heard about Stephen Appiah is his humility and his ability to keep his team together. Most of the enthusiastic footballers I know speak about his rare love for his team.
The President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi has described the former captain as the best skipper the senior national team has worked with.
As a famous footballer, it is also rare that not many scandals have been heard about him unlike others. Married to a beautiful woman with three children he has not made it a secret that he is very affectionate of his wife and respects her opinion. That for me is another plus in my record book.
Stephen Appiah, who has now voluntarily retired from football, brings to memory the FIFA World Cup 2010 advertisement in which he was seen leading Africa in a campaign. I still remember the confident look on his face backed by the powerful words “Let them come”.
The launch of Stephen’s global design label, StepApp, tells me how fashionable and versatile he is. I hope he is able to keep his label alive.
The beautiful story of Stephen Appiah cannot end without touching on the issue of Leadership. He is known to have provided great leadership to the Black Stars and this is worth celebrating.
Stephen Appiah is the first captain to have taken the Black Stars to the World Cup twice. That is why he is called El Capitano. He has set a high standard in providing great leadership to the Black Stars and he will always be missed.
If I were him I will be happy about my achievements. The last testimonial match he played says it all. It was indeed the last testimonial befitting a man with great testimonies. I wish him well.
Source: The Finder.