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World Cup 2014: A spoofer’s guide to … Ghana

by Aidan Elder | June 7, 2014

Fun Fact…

In Ghana, you’re not supposed to use your left hand in social situations – handshakes, greetings, passing something to someone else. It’s all supposed to be done with the right hand only because the left is associated with well … let’s just say … toilet hygiene and to use it in the course of interacting with someone is considered an insult. Although sticking your hand up and giving someone a wanker gesture is considered an insult no matter what hand you use.

Wikipedia ‘Fact’…

Ghana has about 40 different official languages ranging from English to a variety of regional ethnic languages spoken by tribes. In fact, after the success of Scatman John’s novelty hit, ‘Scatman (Ski Ba Bop Ba Dop Bop)’ and subsequent outbreak of people talking in scat rap in the mid-90s, the government made it an official language too. To this day, every session of parliament begins with the politicians rising to their feet and reciting the line “Everybody stutters one way or the other, so check out my message to you, as a matter of fact, don’t let nothin’ hold you back, if the Scatman can do it, brother, so can you” in unison. Yo da dub dub.

National Hero…

Not unlike many African nations, there are a whole host of major figures who played key roles in helping secure the country’s independence from their colonial rulers and who are rightly revered. Still though, they’re not especially famous outside Ghana and none of them presented MTV’s Dance Floor Chart or T4. Neither did former UN Secretary General and Ghanaian native, Kofi Annan, so for all those pointless reasons, we’re erroneously nominating June Sarpong MBE as Ghana’s national hero. Yes, she was born on London and sounds about as cockney a Gooseberry Puddin as you’re ever likely to see. In recent years, she’s become increasingly politicised, appearing on Question Time. And hosting ‘Michael Jackson: The Search for … His Spirit’ with not-very-psychic psychic, Derek Acorah.

Football Pedigree…

Ghana has long produced top quality football players, but not all of them decided to play for the country, which is a bit of a kick in the balls. Not looking at any Marcel Desailly in particular. For years they were frequent winners and contenders for the Africa Cup of Nations, but made basically no impact on the world stage. In the naughties, things changed. They made their World Cup debut in 2006 and came within Luis Suarez’s arm and some badly taken penalties of reaching the semi-finals in 2010. That moment of unsportsmanlike behaviour caused it’s fair share of anger and pain, but it could have been worse – he could have been hungry at the time. They head into their third World Cup on the bounce with a squad packed with familiar names and rising talents.

Acceptable National Stereotype…

A unique, vibrant young nation with a strong sense of their own identity

Unacceptable National Stereotype…

They’ve got they’re shit together slightly more than some other African countries, which isn’t saying much

Don’t be surprised if they…

Get spoken of as dark horses to cause an upset in a difficult group, but then get knocked out fairly sharpish because it’s actually a difficult group

Odds to win World Cup 2014: 200/1

It’s probably not Ghana be the Black Stars, but we’ve got a galaxy of World Cup betting in this direction:

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