I don?t usually write about soccer. This is simply to save me a ?non-hypocritical face? from my football enthusiastic friends. To them for me to talk of sport is to assume a non-befitting stand in both history and opinion. After all I do not listen to those ??mushroomed?? sports shows neither do I join them to the viewing centre when the big clubs are playing. My soccer vulnerability even became bleaker when I called one of them to help me clarify some points I used in this write-up.

BK GhanaBut once sport is life and has a role in society I cannot ignore the occasional thoughts it brings me just to please my loyal friends. For example I still think for Ghana soccer to improve and tie it knot to the aspirations of the many young people there must be a robust shake-up in the Ghana Football Association from top to down. This shake-up must take along with it all the structures that have been compromised and given the ?mafias? only one sided view of soccer in Ghana. Causing us the embarrassment we suffered in Brazil last year.
In this piece I am also wondering how Algeria will hold on to her glory. As they didn?t find it easy qualifying from the group stages even as the team with the world?s heart. Again the Desert Foxes come against Ivory Coast in the quarter finals. My intention for the latter is not to subject the match to my analysis. I will leave that to the experts and fanatics. Most sincerely I may either fail or fault. And mostly importantly I find most soccer analytical points merely cheap.
That notwithstanding I build my point from a context critically on the basis of Algeria?s new form.
The 2015 AFCON ?heated? with me having no favourite. My only sympathy lied with Zambia. Perhaps, this attests to Jack Sargeant?s assertion that, hardly ever is ??anyone a true neutral in international football’s continental tournaments??.
Beyond and again my sympathy for the Zambians is not because they may still be grieving their lost president. My love for the Zambian national football team has its own history and distinctiveness. It dates back in their 1993 air disaster and their impressive comeback. For historians the Chipolopolo’s have a memorable record of a 4?0 victory over Italy in the 1988 Olympic football tournament in Seoul, South Korea. History has it that Kalusha Bwalya who subsequently escaped the tragedy with the few scored a hat-trick in that match.
Coming into the 21st century my love grew stronger team appeared promising. True to my instincts the team lifted the 2012 AFCON cup. This was a build up on their 2010 quarter finals appearance. At the time I was always on the lookout for Christopher Katongo. I find him a sensational captain. Then their head coach at the time-Herve Renard. I always admired his style and composure at the bench. But upon realising these two key interests were absent in the current squared I only became an awaiting-observer to both the team and the tournament: hard as it may be.
In this new life, on-looking, I do well to follow up on notable issues and stories. This made me notice the dominance of a team in particular. In a tournament preview, Algeria is said to have stolen the hearts of the world. This I came to side with going through the impressive analysis given by Jack Sargeant in his preview titled, ??How Algeria stole the hearts of the world??: which I have hugely referred in this write-up. Even before siding with Jack Sargeant I had watched a repeat broadcast of the 2014 Glo-CAF Awards to realise Algeria has been crowned the continental national team of the year.
Obviously Algeria is into the tournament with these ambiances in addition to being ranked 18th by FIFA. Interestingly enough they appear not to be marking their match although they managed to beat South Africa on a convincing note.
Whatever the reason maybe, Algeria goes into the quarter finals carrying the hearts of many unseen faces. But as to whether they will keep up those fans or vanish with it will be something we will all have to wait for the field to decide.
Knowing well they are against a side that is failing to live up to it strength but managed to survive when it became necessary.
At this point I am supposed to have given you something to follow. But even if otherwise I take consolation from Huizinga (1970) remarks that art, particularly poetry, has a playful character. And say just he said that some of its playfulness lies in the fact that art often obscures what it wants to express. This may be my double face; or perhaps my ignorance of football.



The writer Bernard Kwofie is the author of letters of my delusion and an African youth activist.


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