After a Long Wait Ghana Finally Made the FIFA World Cup™ Tournament in Germany in 2006

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Since FIFA began the World Cup championship tournament in 1930 with a 13-team field in Uruguay no African country has come close to winning the tournament. Ghana made a debut in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in Germany but they were narrowly knocked out by Brazil. Even then Ghana was hardly known on the international scene. Ghana's historic journey to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ finals begun with a comfortable victory over Czechoslovakia, and the United States. Although Ghana did not win the tournament, Okyere Bonna believes that it was the best continental campaign for Africa since Cameroon in 2002. With players like Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari currently at their peak, the author strongly asserts that Ghana Black Stars is a team to watch out in FIFA World Cup™ Tournament 2010 Finally Made the in South Africa. Find out more about why Ghana Black Stars can win the FIFA World Cup™ Tournament 2010.

With approximately two hundred million active players

Ghana, the Rediscovered Soccer Might: Watch Out World!

The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) began the World Cup championship tournament in 1930 with a 13-team field in Uruguay. Sixty-four years later, 138 countries competed in qualifying rounds to fill 24 berths in the 1994 World Cup finals including an African nation. FIFA increased the World Cup '98 tournament field from 24 to 32 teams, and it remained at 32 in 2002 including automatic berths for defending champion France and co-hosts Japan and South Korea. The other 29 openings were allotted by region: Europe (13), Africa (5), South America (4), CONCACAF (3), Asia (2), the two remaining positions were determined by means of two home-and-away playoff series. One was between the #14 European team (Ireland) and the #3 Asian team (Iran) and the other was between the #5 South American team (Uruguay) and the champion of Oceania (Australia).

Over the past 25 years football has not only taken root as the world's major game in the world but has also blossomed in other branches of society, commerce and politics. Football or soccer, more than any other factor, has united whole regions, people and nations. “With approximately two hundred million active players,” (FIFA estimate) football can be said to constitute a substantial chunk of the leisure industry. Indeed, today Football (soccer) has opened up new markets for itself and for the rest of the business world and will continue to be the all time sport of the century.

FIFA World Cup™ tournaments have been played once in Asia (Japan/South Korea), three times in North America (Mexico 2 and U.S.), four times in South America (Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay) and ten times in Europe (France 2, Italy 2, England, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and West Germany).

Ghana made a debut in the 1962 FIFA World Cup qualifiers but they were narrowly knocked out by Morocco and in subsequent years they found victory illusive. The 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification was a nightmare for Ghana having ended up in the fourth place behind Nigeria, Liberia and Sudan. Ghana's hopes of reaching the first Asian finals were effectively ended by a 3-1 defeat at home to Liberia and an unconvincing draw against Sierra Leone. Ghana's historic journey to the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ finals begun with a comfortable qualifying victory over Somalia. Let’s hope Ghana continues to show up in subsequent FIFA World Cup™ tournaments.

For Ghana, a place on world football’s greatest stage is long overdue. They have won four CAF African Cup of Nations titles – in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982 - and twice captured the FIFA Under-17 World Championship. Moreover, they have produced some of Africa’s most talented footballers down the years including the international ace player Abedi Ayew Pele. The success of the Black Stars ironically comes at a time when they do not have as many big names but instead a youthful team with a disciplined approach fostered by coach Dujkovic, who offered an early statement of his no-nonsense approach.

The Ghana national team was founded in 1957, the year of Ghana’s independence from the British imperial regime. Since its establishment the Ghana Black Stars have won African Cup of Nations four times (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982), and CSSA Nations Cup four times (1982-1984, 1986, 1987) - a remarkable achievement in African soccer. Yet Ghana has never claimed a place at the finals of a FIFA World Cup tournament despite nine attempts to date.

How do we then explain this wind of change, originating in the west of the continent that has swept Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Angola past their more celebrated peers like South Africa, Nigeria and Cameroon? Find out by reading Ghana, the Rediscovered Soccer Might. Watch Out World! [Book page: http://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.asp?bookid=35479

The book does not only contain the history and performance of the Ghana team but also all the teams Ghana played against in the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ tournament. In these pages you will also find:
1. Brief history of FIFA World Cup™ tournaments.
2. Biography of all the players, teams and coaches of the African squad and opponents of Ghana; to wit Brazil, Italy, USA, and Czech Republic.
3. History of FIFA World Cup™ Finals since 1930 and Shootouts.
4. History of all CAF African Cup of Nations qualifying matches (involving Ghana).
5. The biography of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ tournament technical team and a list of all the officiating referees.

In sum the book is very informative (http://www.xlibris.com/Ghana,theRediscoveredSoccerMight.html). Football (soccer) fans will find it very interesting, entertaining and beneficial.

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Okyere Bonna
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