Citi Sports editor, Nathan Quao, rolls his column out and today, he talks about Ghana’s failure to make the 2018 World Cup and the need to think of building again.
Two days after the match in Kampala, I am thinking about the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the fact that we will not be there.
Does it hurt? Yes. As a fan, it is always fun seeing your country at the biggest gathering in world football and as a journalist, it would have been a great experience.
But all that is now a dream. A dream that can only come to life if we see that we have been given an opportunity to reset the system and go at it again.
But have our eyes been opened to this fact? Some of us have seen this but others need a little time to see the writing on the wall.
That group seems to believe that the first thing we need to do is to protest against South African referee Daniel Bennett will work. We can file our case to CAF because it is our right. We feel aggrieved and we must let the continent’s governing body know this.
We were denied a good goal by a bad decision on the day.
However, that will have to give way to the glaring truth. We have fallen off a few steps and we need to get back there. But then, part of the work has been started and I feel that that we need to quickly see and understand the times.
The Black Stars have one more match in the World Cup qualifiers and the rest of the 2019 AFCON qualifiers.
These matches, I believe, are the perfect platforms to test up and coming players. We should be grateful for the competitive settings in which Kwesi Appiah and his new charges find themselves.
There is no better way to gauge a player’s emotional readiness and technical ability than in a match that has great value. How do know if Kwesi Appiah is learning when he cannot show his abilities in a crucial qualifier leading to a tournament?
I do not believe that we should target winning the 2019 AFCON. I feel we may not be fully ready for it but we need to get there to measure the evolution of this new crop and then, go full throttle for the 2019 AFCON tournament.
However, all this is premised on one simple thing: the understanding that missing the 2018 World Cup tournament is a good thing.
As for finding a new philosophy and implementing many other things in the Dzamefe Commission Report, it has become clear that the people in power have decided not to bother their heads over these.
They choose to believe in fixing the national team. That is very good because I am for it too but then, our long-term success lies in finding the proverbial plain field and building a new football structure from the ground up.
We will not be the first to do it.Others have done it and it has worked. We can take the lessons and apply them to our own context. That should not be too hard, should it?
Congrats to Egypt and Nigeria for booking their tickets for the 2018 World Cup. Nigeria are going back to the tournament after going to Brazil.
But Egypt are finally back among the big boys after 27 years. 27 years of heartbreak and waiting. 27 years of seeing others go while they watch the games at home.
This group of players was put together in the chaos of political crisis and they found unity and purpose to make it to Russia.
It is pleasing that one of the continent’s brightest players, Mohammed Salah, will get his turn at the World Cup. We wish them well.
We cannot say same for Argentina who are in all sorts of problems. They face Ecuador on Tuesday and they are 6th on the log with 25 points.
Here is the breakdown of Argentina’s fate as explained by the Mirror website:
“…a draw (between Ecuador and Argentina) will be good enough for Messi’s side if Colombia beat Peru and Paraguay fail to win (at home, against last-placed Venezuela). A single point could also see them move above Chile and Colombia… as long as both those teams lose by a two-goal margin.
There is a way Argentina could even end up in fifth place and a play-off spot with a DEFEAT. If Paraguay fail to win and Colombia beat Peru, a defeat in Quito won’t matter.”
That is how complicated things are for Argentina.
By Wednesday morning, we will know if Lionel Messi will be in Russia or not. Football is a crazy game, I tell you.
That’s it for this week.
Hit me up on Twitter @nathan_quao