I AM JUST back from a week in Ghana, a football crazy country that is rocking under a threat of dismissal from FIFA because of government interference.
That would be a shame for it’s smiley people who worship our Premier League and their own heroes like Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and John Pantsil.
The people of the old Gold Coast have it drilled in to them from childhood that they should treat foreigners with respect and they certainly do that, even when involved in fierce argument as to who are the best players in the world.
However, when you hear that two of their own Premier League matches last season ended 31-0 and 28-15 your eyes open wide.
The football authorities decreed that ‘there was evidence to suggest collusion may have taken place’.
Never! Word was rival managers were on the phone to one another agreeing which team had to score next for the sake of the spread bet.
That sounds worse to me than government intervention.
Whatever I hope they sort it out. World Cups are all the richer for countries like Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon and Senegal reaching the finals.
There was one funny incident from the trip.
You may or may not know that I have a claim to fame that landed me in the Guinness Book of Records many moons ago – being able to recite all 92 Football League clubs in 26 seconds.
It has never done me a fat lot of good but it’s good for a laugh.
I was asked to perform the party trick twice on Ghanaian TV last week, and obliged, but didn’t expect to have to repeat it at the KLM check-in desk at the airport.
The official who made the request summoned half-a-dozen colleagues from other check in desks prior to departure and they wouldn’t go back to work until I’d proved I could do it !
One of them said he ‘turned white’ when he heard me gabbling away in his living room!