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Ghanaians love football. As a visitor to Ghana, even if you know absolutely nothing about the sport, you cannot help but know about the Black Stars. There is no point fighting the fever, don your Ghana colours, relax and you’ll fit right in.
The first thing you will notice as any football tournament approaches is that the street hawkers have left their regular wares behind and are now carrying only football paraphernalia. The streets are awash with colour. Everything is green, red, yellow and black; hats, t-shirts, flags, umbrellas, key rings, pennants, footballs, every souvenir you can imagine.
On the day of the match, you will find that you can drive the streets of Accra without fear because you will be the only vehicle on the road. Unfortunately, there is no point in going to do any shopping or any other activity that involves getting attention from a Ghanaian, because everyone is watching the match. Yes, they might be at work, but sales people and customers alike will be crowded around the television set ignoring anyone with the audacity to want to buy something when there is a match going on!
For the 2010 World Cup, one supermarket is offering a 5% discount on goods while a match was playing and a ten percent discount if Ghana wins. Quite a safe show of goodwill since very few people would be around taking advantage of it.
Be forewarned, if you have sensitive ears, run for cover each time the ball heads towards a goal. If there is a near attempt at a goal by either team, there will be a roar. But if the Black Stars score a goal, look out! The entire city of Accra will erupt with shouts, screams, and horn blowing both from cars and the disputed vuvuzelas.
If the match is held on a Sunday, as was Ghana’s first World Cup match, even churches display Ghana’s national colours and offer prayers for a Black Star victory in the tournament.
On Sunday June 13, 2010, Ghana became the first African country to win a match in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This was an event of great significance to the entire African continent, so badly in need of good news and victories. In Accra there was a spontaneous carnival. People poured out of the houses, bars and stores – wherever they had gathered to watch the match – and celebrated wildly in the streets singing and dancing.