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Ghana’s Semi-final Overshadowed by Unpopular and Heavy Criticism

It is no surprise that Ghana is through to the semi-finals of the AFCON games but the team’s performance has come under scrutiny to many unpleased Ghanaians.

Coach Avram Grant came out to condemn the critics and asked for respect and thoughtful consideration as he stands behind his team’s performance which has led them to the second last stage of the tournament.

“Every player has had a criticism at one time or another. I would like that to change.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I don’t know why they target players. I would like them to respect the players, who are giving everything,”[/perfectpullquote]

said the Israeli.

Ghana’s game has been at most, reserved nonetheless securing them six points to safely send them to the quarterfinals, where they beat DR Congo 2-1.

The latest win would also illuminate one player much to everyone’s anticipation, whose path into the limelight was one overdue.

Jordan Ayew unlike his brother Andre Ayew (who scored winners against Uganda and DR Congo), has taken a while to warm-up to Ghanaian fans.

However, the youngest of the siblings proved critics wrong with an assist (which led to Asamoah’s winning goal against Mali), and a much deserving goal against DR Congo.

For Jordan, self-belief with the support of the team, are the gluing force behind his confidence and ability to impact on the field for Ghana.

In response to critics, young Ayew said,

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”I am always confident and I know the quality I have. The coach and the players have confidence in me and so, there is no problem.”[/perfectpullquote]

Following Ghana’s quarterfinal win, Jordan was voted Man of the Match and the relief of stepping out of the shadows was evident after an emotionally moment, to celebrate his well-crafted goal. His performance has amplified game by game.

“Jordan is having a great tournament,” coach Grant countered. “He gave a great assist to Asamoah Gyan against Mali and scored a great goal against DR Congo in the quarterfinal.

“Also his performance statistics are great and they show he is running a lot. He is answering his critics on the pitch.”

But Jordan isn’t the only Ghanaian player getting backlash. Goalkeeper, Razak Brimah recently lashed out at the constant criticism he has received since the beginning of the games in Gabon.

Despite pulling off impressive saves to help Ghana from conceding goals that could have been detrimental to the team’s progression thus far, Brimah’s reaction has instead reinforced the fans’ negativity and increased doubts over his professionalism.

In a video footage posted on his Facebook, he ordered those not in support of the team to “f*** off” and “go to hell”.

The second choice keeper at Spanish second tier club Córdoba said, “They (Ghanaians) talk too much, they should “f***ing go to hell.

“I am not harsh but am “f***ing” tired of these negative people.

“This is my fourth year with the national team and this is only my fourth time of losing a game. I hardly lose competitive games and I’m tired of these people.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Instead of supporting the team (Black Stars) to move forward and pray for the team, they sit out there and talk “sh**”.”[/perfectpullquote]

Brimah went overboard and let the impatience and passion of the fans, result into personal insults hurled at Ghanaians and their families.

Christian Atsu was not one to also hold back his disappointment in the fans. Prior to the quarterfinals, Atsu denied claims that the Black Stars lacked a sense of duty to the nation and were only motivated by money.

It has been 35 years since Ghana won the AFCON title always coming close to winning it, a factor that has built on more and more on the fans’ frustration.

2014 World Cup saga where the team demanded $100,000 in wages before taking on Portugal, did not help the team’s image either and was made worse when they lost the title in the previous AFCON finals, to Ivory Coast in a penalty shoot-out.

“We want to win something for Ghana,” Atsu admitted to

“We have been in this competition for long and always go home without that cup.

“Ghanaians are not happy, but we are determined to win this cup and it has nothing to do with money.

“With or without money, we will do our best to. be in the cup for Ghana.”

Still, like every other profession, they deserve compensation for their time and effort.

“When we play, we deserve to be paid because it’s our profession,” he added.

As the semifinals approach, nerves get more intense but the Black Stars are playing more cautiously to avoid reopening old wounds, from the loss in the previous finals.

“We have progressed in the competition, we need to look at what is ahead,” deputy captain Andre (Ayew) told Metro TV.

“We made it to the semifinals, it is good but is not anything special. We need to fight and get to the top.”

Ghana plays on tomorrow against four-time champions Cameroon (who eliminated Senegal on penalty shoot-out), in an anticipated semifinal clash.



Featured photo: The Black Stars are not most Ghanaians’ favorites. (AFP)

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