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The brouhaha over Black Stars squad; All you need to know so far

The noise has been from within if at all there’s been noise around the Black Stars. And if there’s been anything that impairs their focus anytime they’re preparing for a match or tournament, at best, it’s been self-inflicted, and of course, originated not from the media but from the decisions or indecisions of the team’s managers. 

It’s why any notion that the publication of the Black Stars squad will create “noise” from the media and the public must be rejected. To be fair, officials of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) haven’t gone on record that players penciled for the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria this month won’t be made public.

But on the wavelength of an Nhyira FM report, we won’t get to know the squad (until when I don’t know). “The GFA has taken a decision NOT to release the Black Stars squad ahead of playoffs against Nigeria as a SURPRISE strategy” said the report. Commentaries on this news report have been varied and here’s mine.

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It’s been almost an unwritten convention that the media and by that, the public get to know information such as the one being talked about when the team is about to play. It’s also been established that there’re no specific deadline as to when the squad should be publicised. So, no one can force the publication.

In fact, the GFA is under no compulsion to pander to the demands of either the media or the public. It’s ok if they’re being silent on their plans for the March 25 game and it’s also not out of order for us to ask if that includes keeping the squad from daylight. If that’s part of the “silent strategy” that would be ushering us into “strange” times.

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Except for AFCON 2021, where perhaps by the tournament rules, our squad was named 18 days to kickoff, my thorough checks show that, for qualifiers, our squads in recent years have been published between seven to nine days prior to a game. The GFA, can’t be said to be late in this instance but will the squad be published and when?

My point though, is, the GFA seems to take the public for granted. It’s why the public don’t appear to be in synch with them on anything Black Stars. Their refusal to for instance court increased public support with a candid apology after our unprecedented AFCON fiasco fed fat the perception of arrogance of the top brass of the FA.

This brouhaha of whether or not the squad will be published and when, could’ve been easily killed with a word from the FA so the public know whether or not to trust reports that it won’t be published. That way, the FA extinguishes the “fire” started by their bizarre posturing. This is no issue. Yet, when you’ve had both a media and a public that don’t seem to trust you on Black Stars issues, you work to erase the mistrust.

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That’s not what this GFA is interested in. The Ghanaian support will naturally be there for the Black Stars and football but if they agree that, the love for game has gone down, leading to the ‘Bring Back the Love’ campaign, the GFA should be reminded that, it’s their posturing and the attendant negative public perception of them that broke the love. What’s more, they’ve so far not done enough to mend the broken love.

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