Jerome Otchere writes: GFA’s pre-World Cup activities

Published on: 30 October 2022

The national day of prayer and fasting for the senior national team, the Black Stars, declared by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) as they gear up for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 seemed fanciful to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m neither ridiculing prayer nor am I pouring scorn on fasting.

I’m a Christian. I believe in God, who answers our fervent prayers. I fast and pray. I’ve Muslim friends who also fast and pray and we all have the conviction that, when we pray, God hears us and answers us in His own time and in His way. Ghanaians are very religious people. So, I don’t ridicule prayer and God’s power to cause transformation.

But God, who never fails in answering our prayers also gives us wisdom and the ability to think; make decisions and solve problems that saddle us even if most of those problems are self-inflicted. This is why I believe prayer isn’t the solution to our problems when we take self-serving decisions and create avoidable problems.

God, I’m sure, pities us when He sees us side-stepping wisdom and practical solutions to our problems to pray. The GFA must’ve taken the spiritual route knowing our religiosity but let’s note that what God expects the FA to do is to put the national interest first and at the centre of decisions like player selection and financial rewards for the team as they prepare for the World Cup.

That way, time and resources would be better used and Ghanaians would be happy. A happy Ghana, I’m sure, would make God happier.  That said, I must however commend the GFA for the other pre-world cup events they’ve been on. The visit to President Akufo-Addo was as brilliant as the audience the FA sought with ex-Presidents John Mahama and John Agyekum Kufour.

It’s been positive whipping public interest and enthusiasm from that angle since these are big leaders and of course, political stalwarts whose word touches the hearts of many. The GFA didn’t end there. They embarked on a walk with the legends (so far the best among the pre-world cup activities); seeing ex-Black Stars players, GFA and Sports Ministry officials on a walk on the Aburi range.

The camaraderie I witnessed on the walk was nice. The same must prevail at the team’s camp. In all, Ghana must have an exciting, trouble-free Qatar World Cup experience. If that would happen it wouldn’t be as a consequence of fasting and prayers but good leadership thinking and decision-making both on and off the field.