Football which other part of the world calls it Soccer has a big story. This game of sport as seen today started in England in the middle of the 19th century. But different versions of the game existed much earlier and these are part of the football story today.
The most known story tells that the game was developed in England in the 12th century. In the 12th century, similar games of football were played on meadows and roads in England. Besides kicks, soccer involved punches of the ball with the fist.
It is believed that, the early form of football was also more rough and violent than how it’s being played today.
Football in Ghana
The British introduced football in Ghana. Britain was the colonial master at the time. Initially, football was slow to get to take off in Ghana, but the first organized matches in 1882 brought a steady increase of the sport’s popularity in the country.
In 1903 the first official Ghanaian football club (Cape Coast Excelsior) was founded by Mr. Briton. He was the then Head Teacher of Philip Quaye Government Boys School located in Cape Coat . In 1920, the British brought up the first formal competition in the country.
Ghana became the first African country to have fought and gained independence in the year 1957. Under the authority of the government of Ghana’s first President,Dr Kwame Nkrumah, football gained a lot of developments. Dr Kwame Nkrumah used soccer as a tool to show clearly that Africa does not need to bow down before any continent. Also clearly not before any forces. And thus the famous sport of the former British colony of the “Gold Coast” became a marketing strategy before the term was even created. Other clubs including: Accra Hearts of oak, Cape Coast Venomous Vipers, Accra Standfast, Cape Coast Mysterious Dwarfs among others. These teams emerged along the coast as the game grew popularity.
President Nkrumah’s government was suddenly overthrown by the National Liberation Council (NLC) In the year 1966 after gaining independence in 1957. His ambitions on football thus came to a sudden end. The infrastructure that Nkrumah had built was neglected and as a result, various fields became unusable. At the end of the 1970s, Ghanaian football players started migrating to European Clubs. This occured after losing confidence in the local leagues where they were proud to play.
The current State of football in Ghana
Football has seen a lot of transformation in Ghana. Many soccer clubs have been formed in all divisions across the length and breath of the country. Various competitions have been introduced thus attracting many youths into the sports industry.
Ghana has produced a lot of great players who been recognized both locally and at the international levels. Many players have received international awards, thus putting Ghana on the football map.
Many Ghanaian national teams have been formed from men to women.These teams are doing well and this goes down onto the local leagues. The various National teams in recent years has attracted a number of big sponsors.
Some big clubs in Ghana includes : Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko, Ashanti Gold S.C, Liberty Professionals , Accra Great Olympics, Aduana Stars and others. In Ghana,football players earn good salaries according to Ghanaian standards. However, there is a lot of perceptions of corruption acts in the African football.
Many club officials and players are focusing on transfers to Europe, America and Asia. This sometimes undermines the development of local leagues. In other instances, it brings money to the country. Another big problem is the major focus on the national senior team(the Black Stars). There is a lot of prestige to be in national senior team. A lot is being invested in the team with some other teams not receiving sufficient funds and attention.
In all, the country is doing very well in the field of football with many youths having the desire and to be in the game.