Tag: football


Arthur Wharton’s historic return home

Arthur Wharton Maquette to be presented to Ministry of Sports in Ghana

Arthur_Wharton_Me_FiRi_Ghana_dot_com

This week, representatives of the Arthur Wharton Foundation will be travelling to Ghana to present the Ministry of Sport with an Arthur Wharton Maquette statue – symbolically, Arthur’s return to his homeland. The handover event will take place in Jamestown, Ghana, where Arthur was born and on the date of his birth, 28th October (1865).

Arthur Wharton was the ‘World’s First Black Professional Footballer’, who made his name while playing for Darlington FC (1883-1888).

Arthur was also the ‘World’s First 100 yard Sprint Champion’, which he ran in a time of 10 seconds  at the AAA Championships at Stamford Bridge, London, in 1886; a British Cycling Champion; Professional Cricketer; and he played Rugby  – a remarkable sportsman.

Ironic then, that here we are, some 130 years after Arthur Wharton pioneered the way for the black footballers of today, celebrating his achievements and contributions to football and sport and on his return to home soil,  and yet it is amidst the ugly face of racism in what is allegedly ‘The beautiful game’ that is football – in 2012.

The Arthur Wharton Foundation acknowledges and pays tribute to the work of all organizations who dedicate their time and commitment to tackling racism.

We also applaud those individuals who have put their heads above the parapet and shared their forthright opinions and actions, in recognizing the need to tackle the issues head on and in a much more demonstrative and proactive way.

The dis-connect between players, organizations, and governing bodies is a clear indication that there is something seriously wrong at the heart of the debate concerning racism in football.

Next Sunday, on the 28th October, as we present the Arthur Wharton Maquette statue to Ghanaian authorities, we ask those organizations and all others involved in the current issues to take a moment to remember Arthur Wharton, the first pioneer who blazed a trail for all black footballers of today – and tomorrow.

For more info on the Arthur Wharton Foundation contact:

Shaun Campbell (Founder – Arthur Wharton Foundation) : T +44 (0) 1325 257722 – Mob: +44 (0) 7854473516

Email: shaun@arthurwharton.com

Web: www.arthurwharton.com

Twitter: @arthurwharton

Introducing you to…

Rachel Yankey

 

Who is arguably the most successful English female footballer?  Any ideas? Well I am proud to say the lady I speak of is of Ghanaian descent from her father’s side.  Rachel Aba Yankey MBE is the most-capped player currently in the England team. She was the second English female player, after Gillian Coultard, to win 100 caps.

Rachel began playing football as the only girl in a boy’s team, before joining Mill Hill United at youth level. She represented Brent in the London Youth Games as a youngster, and was inducted in to their Hall of Fame in 2011. She was registered as the first professional female footballer in England at 16 and started at Fulham FC then later played for Arsenal and Birmingham City.

In August 1997 Rachel made her senior England debut in a 4–0 win over Scotland. In 2009, Yankey was one of the first 17 female players to be given central contracts by the Football Association. However, in August 2009 she was surprisingly left out of coach Hope Powell’s 22–player squad for Euro 2009with Powell believing that her form did not justify a call–up. But after a return to form with Arsenal Ladies, she was recalled by Powell for the 2010 Cyprus Cup and won her 90th and 91st caps. On 29 July 2010 Yankey became the second Englishwoman after Gillian Coultard to earn 100 caps during a home World Cup qualifier against Turkey.

Outside of football one of her proudest honours came in 2006, when was awarded an MBE for services to football in the Queen’s New Year honours list.

Although Rachel Yankey decided to play for the country of her mother’s birth – England – she is of Ghanaian heritage and has openly stated she is proud of her heritage.

Rachel Aba Yankey MBE, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

 Ben JK Anim-Antwi (Kwesi)

More than just a game…… Part 3

The wait is almost over and in just under 48 hours England will take to the field to play Ghana at Wembley. Both teams warmed up for the game with comfortable wins in their respective continental qualifying games. Ghana were quite Impressive in beating Congo 3-0 in Brazzaville whilst England were expected to beat Wales and did so without much fuss.

With the qualifiers out of the way both teams can concentrate on tomorrow’s game. But which players are likely to be playing? Well we already know that five English players (John Terry, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney, Michael Dawson & Frank Lampard) have been released by manager Fabio Capello and will not feature in the match.

This news may disappoint some Ghanaian fans as they would want to see the ‘best’ English players play. However established premier league players such as Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Barry (who has just been named captain) will feature and the cream of young English talent; Jack Wilshire, Ashley Young and Joe Hart are still in the squad so it will still be a test for the Black stars.

So what about the Black stars? Michael Essien we know is out of the party as he continues his controversial exile from International football.  Whilst KPB (Kevin Prince Boateng) has not yet recovered from an ankle injury so will also miss out. So Black stars Coach Goran Stevanovic will have to name his starting 11 from the following pool of players;

Goalkeepers: Richard Kingson (Blackpool, England), Sammy Adjei (Hearts of Oak, Ghana) Ernest Sowah (Berekum Chelsea, Ghana)

Defenders: John Paintsil (Fulham, England) Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium) David Addy (Academica Coimbra, Portugal) Jonathan Mensah (Granada, Spain) Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim, Germany) John Mensah (Sunderland, England) Lee Addy (Red Star Belgrade, Serbia)

Midfielders: Anthony Annan (Schalke 04, Germany), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Bernard Kumordzi (Panionios, Greece) Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy) Sulley Muntari (Sunderland, England) Derek Boateng (Getafe, Spain)  Andre Ayew (Marseille, France) Opoku Agyemang (Al-Ahli, Saudi Arabia)

Attackers: Asamoah Gyan (Sunderland, England) Prince Tagoe (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia) Dominic Adiyiah (Partizan Belgrade, Serbia) Nathaniel Asamoah (Asante Kotoko, Ghana)

As you can see that is a pretty strong squad and I am tipping the boss to start with Gyan and Prince Tagoe (Who scored against Congo) alongside him in attack. I am also excited to see my two favourite players, Anthony Annan and Kwadwo Asamoah playing as for me they are the heart beat of the Ghanaian side.

There is sure to be a lot of young footballing talent on show on both sides and it could be an open and exciting match. My Money is on a Ghana victory (obviously!) though I am sure we won’t lose whatever the result it’s gonna be a celebration regardless. If not for the result of the match, then a celebration of how far the national squad has come over the last five years since our very first world cup in 2006.

Ben JK Anim-Antwi.

Fifa Issue Ghana Warning

Fifa have warned Ghana they face being referred to its emergency committee if their government does not stop interfering in football matters, the Ghana Football Association has confirmed.

The GFA revealed on their official website that they have received a letter from the world governing body giving the Ghanaian authorities a Sunday deadline to “stop their direct intervention and allow GFA to work again”.

The association confirmed their headquarters were raided on Tuesday by plain-clothed officers from the country’s Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), who removed nine computers and took away documents.

The action has halted all football-related activities in the country with the GFA’s offices closed indefinitely.

The emergency committee has the power to impose a suspension.

A Fifa statement addressed to the GFA posted onwww.ghanafa.org read: “Under these circumstances, if the Ghanaian authorities do not stop their direct intervention and allow GFA to work again before Sunday 12 December 2010, we will be obliged to refer the case to the Fifa Emergency Committee.

“This could entail all potential consequences linked to article 13 and article

17 of the Fifa statutes which clearly state that any football association must

manage their affairs independently and with no influence by any third parties or

face sanctions in case of non-compliance.

“We hope that the Ghanaian authorities will reconsider their actions and thus

avoid the deepening of a crisis which will only bring adverse consequences for

the football lovers in Ghana.”

Source: Sky Sports