Talk about a washout. The Black Stars played out an uninspired draw against the Nile Crocodiles of Sudan at the Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi Sunday. And as if that were not enough, fans were drenched when a heavy downpour commenced shortly after South African referee Jerome Damon’s final whistle. All this made for unhappy faces with the intensity of the lashing rain raising the question, who was unhappier at the Stars display, God or the fans? Continue reading
Part of a good goalkeeper’s DNA is keeping calm under pressure. When a goal is under siege, a keeper is the last line of defense.
It is no wonder therefore that Isaac Amoako is a cool customer unfazed by his continuing call-ups to the Black Stars. He is one of five local players in the national team prior to Sunday’s match against Sudan and he says he feels like he belongs.
“I do feel more comfortable because the players are all my colleagues so being among my colleagues is cool and comfortable,” Amoako said on Wednesday after the final practise in Accra before the team leaves for Kumasi.
Cracking jokes at the tail end of practice and daring a line of players taking free-kicks to beat him, the man tipped by some to eventually assume Richard Kingson’s role left no doubt about his comfort.
“That is the spirit of the game,” Amoako added. “There is nothing like they are from outside,” displaying no hint of an inferiority complex.
The match on Sunday represents a homecoming of sorts for the Kumasi Asante Kotoko goal tender.
For good reason, Amoako lists Kumasi as his favorite grounds. “There is where we play our home games, I mean Asante Kotoko so I feel good because my fans and the supporters are coming to watch so it is all good,” Amoako said.
And in the event that they win on Sunday, what local eatery would he recommend for a celebratory meal? Amoako says he is keeping the secret close to his chest. Like a goalkeeper is supposed to.
Remember when your parents told you not to believe everything you read? Fans of Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew who flock to social networking site, Twitter, purportedly to read his musings would be smart to embrace this rule, because they have been hoodwinked.
Dede firmly denied having an account after training with Ghana’s senior national team in Accra Tuesday. Ayew dismissed the suggestion of an account with a shake of the head, a wave of the finger and a strong ‘No.’
After a committed World Cup display, Ayew has become a fan favorite and is developing a cult among lady fans for his good looks. In fact, many followers of the @andreayew handle are women. The impostor has conveniently capitalized on Ayew’s emergence to have over 1700 followers.
A day before the competition began on June 8 the account was established. The last tweet was on September 14 when ‘hi peeps’ was posted. Rather confusingly, the account got the ‘verified’ tag shortly after the World Cup lending credence to the thought that followers were receiving real updates of Dede’s life.
The Black Stars are in town this week preparing for their 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifying match Sunday against Sudan in Kumasi.
Ayew would not be the first victim of a ‘twitpostor.’ Entertainers like David Letterman and Kanye West have had people speaking for them. The farcical include @osamabinladen. The phenomenon has become so common that phony account holders are referred to as ‘phweeters’. So go ahead and add @andreayew to the ‘phweeter’ column. Considering his relatively small following, Ayew may not suffer any extensive damage to his reputation. Nevertheless ‘phweeters’ have the potential to damage a celebrity’s reputation and brand with false and embarrassing thoughts.
Some of the more memorable tweets @andreayew has published are “Which team should I play for Bayern Munich or Manchester City please help to choose?” a reference to rumors of interest from those clubs in the transfer window. Another sought to dispel rumors of a dalliance with a Ghanaian actress. “Followers I am not dating nadia buari she is the ex of My brother essien Thats disrespect.”
Jones Alhassan Abu, a confidante of Ayew, says Dede was in such high demand at Marseille after the World Cup there was no question of him joining any other team.
Udinese’s Kwadwo Asamoah says playing in Kumasi this weekend should be a thrill for the players and the fans. Kumasi fans missed out on the post-World Cup celebrations as many of the Black Stars left for their European bases shortly after returning to Accra from the competition.
“We were not able to go to Kumasi to appreciate what they did for us but for now we are going there so I think it is the same thing.”
The privilege of an airport welcome, a float and other thanksgiving activities for the Stars in recognition of their success was given to Accra fans and Asamoah says the players are eager to give back to the Kumasi public for their unflinching backing.
“I think most of our players like playing in Kumasi because of the fans and the support.”
The skillful midfielder was on the winning end against Stephen Appiah’s Cesena this weekend and is looking forward to more of the same against Sudan.
“The only thing we can do best is to win for everybody to be happy about it,” Asamoah says.
The Stars leave for Kumasi on Thursday so the fans will have an opportunity to shower them with adulation in the run up to the game. If past results in the Garden City are anything to go by, the residents of Ghana’s second largest city are in for a treat.