Ghana’s Black Princesses begin their world cup campaign on Sunday, the 5th of August 2018 against the host nation, France. Ghana has been paired in group A with France, Netherlands and New Zealand and in as much as we hope for a decent showing from our dear Princesses, the odds are incredibly stacked against them.
There are four aspects of preparations; physical, technical, tactical and psychological preparations. En route to every game or tournament, these four aspects have to be efficiently developed in order to maximize results.
Heading into the tournament, Ghana’s Black Princesses couldn’t be worse off. All the four aspects of their preparations have been adversely affected due to:
1. The denial of travelling visas to Spain where their training tour was to be held.
2. The cancellation of the training tour.
3. Inadequate games to prepare the lads.
4. Poor travelling arrangements of the team to France.
On the 10th of June, just a day before the commencement of the Kuber Challenge Cup in Singapore [which the Princesses were scheduled to participate in], the Black Princesses were asked to return home following the aftermath of Anas’ explosive investigative video, Number 12. This happened because government secured a legal order which halted all football activities in the country, in pursuance of its plan to dissolve the Ghana Football Association.
The directive also prevented the Princesses from participating in an Invitational Tournament which was lined up as part of their training activities for the world cup. The Invitational Tournament was to take place in China from the 1st to the 9th of July.
On the 23rd of July, the Black Princesses registered an emphatic 7-0 victory over Army Ladies, a result which was downplayed due to the questionable level of quality in the Army Ladies’ side.
It is really difficult to see the Princesses putting up much of a challenge. Factually speaking, even when the Black Princesses “prepared adequately” for previous tournaments, passage from the group stage has proved to be a very herculean task, something they have not been able to do.
The team’s chances was also dealt a huge blow when prolific forward Priscilla Adubea was unable to make the final 21 member squad due to injury.
The onus now lies on key players; Ernestina Abambila, Sandra Owusu-Ansah, Philicity Asuako as well as Rafia Alhassan and Shine Agbomadzi who were very impressive during the qualifiers to salvage Ghana’s plummeting image in the Women’s under 20 World Cup.
Despite coach Yusif Basigi’s optimism about the willingness of his players to go the extra mile during the competition, thoughts of progress from the group stage are realistically non-existent and should be treated just like they are – hope.
Taking into consideration the level of insecurity which characterized their pre-tournament preparations, the Black Princesses must be congratulated for their bravery and nationalism in going ahead to participate in the global football showdown.
With the odds stacked against our beloved ladies, it is only apt that we remain modest in our expectations and hope that they put up more of a fight during their group games.