In less than two weeks England will take to the field against Ghana in front of a sell out crowd at Wembley stadium. The anticipation amongst Ghanaians is high and rightly so it will be the first time England have played Ghana in an International match at Wembley and it will be a chance for Ghana to test themselves against established Premier league players.
For me this is a statement of intent from the Ghanaian FA to take the national team to the next level, a statement which has been backed unanimously by the Ghanaian Diaspora in the UK. Twenty one thousand of us to be exact (the biggest International away crowd at Wembley ever !) who will be there cheering the black stars on come March 29 and you can guarantee there will be thousands of Ghanaians up and down the country watching elsewhere in their homes and at bars etc.
The fact that the English Football Association have chosen to play this friendly in between crucial European championship qualifying games against Wales ( 26 March) and Switzerland ( 04 April) is a huge compliment to Ghana. It shows England view Ghana as an emerging power not just in African football but world football and see the game as useful to England in preparing for their qualifiers.
But as the build up to the match begins to the match itself another issue needs to be considered; this match is not only a chance for Ghanaians to go out and support the black stars but also to represent the Ghanaian culture. It’s a chance for us to bring the passion, vibrancy and goodwill of Ghana to where many regard is the home of football: Wembley Stadium.
The game will also be shown live on terrestrial TV (ITV 1), so we need to be looking on point and representing Ghana to the fullest. We need to have our flags, ME FIRI GHANA TOPS, black star shirts and quite frankly anything that bears Ghana’s name on it.
Let’s not also forget that this event will see a huge gathering of Ghanaian people in one place. Probably the biggest Ghanaian gathering the UK has ever seen. I don’t think an Independence rave, Party in the park or your aunties wedding has ever brought in a crowd of twenty one thousand Ghanaians.
People this is big! Do not underestimate this event. Men and women could meet their future partners, babies could be born late that evening (If we win!) and Asamoah Gyan could be doing his skank live at Wembley stadium. I personally know families who are travelling together to the game; aunties have already prepared their Tupperware ready to stuff them full of jelloff.
It’s going to be an event to remember and if you can’t be at Wembley then make sure you’re watching, preferably in a Ghanaian establishment. Let’s all represent for our culture on the 29th.
Black stars we stand ready.
Ben JK Anim-Antwi