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Annan: Ghana brought Africa together

By Liz Clarke

Former U.N Secretary-General Kofi Annan has written a letter to Ghana's Black Stars, congratulating them for their quarterfinal showing in the World Cup and commending them on their dignity in the face of the goal-line handball that denied a game-winning goal against Uruguay. Annan, a native of Ghana, is a longtime soccer supporter.

The letter was reprinted in The [Johannesburg] Times. It reads:

Dear Black Stars,

Heartbroken - that's how you must have felt at the end of your epic match against Uruguay last Friday. There is no other word for it. Hundreds of millions of us felt the same way.

For a moment, my reaction to those last minutes of drama was "how unfair". But in fact, while you lost the game, you came out winners. I wanted to congratulate you not only on a fantastic performance in which you can take great pride, but also for accepting your defeat with dignity. You won because you were such great ambassadors for the game - and for Africa.

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I cannot think of another occasion on which the whole continent was so united as during your quarterfinal. "BaGhana BaGhana" replaced "Bafana, Bafana" for our South African hosts, and I am sure I could hear the earth shake when Muntari scored - a mighty roar went up from Cairo to Cape Town, Dakar to Dar es Salam - even the deafening Vuvuzelas couldn't match it. This thunderous solidarity is a tribute to you all, and a great omen for Africa, which is so often depicted as divided and conflicted. You won because you brought us all together.

Crucially, this unity went far beyond the shores of our continent. Millions of non-Africans cheered for you, too, something that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. I am sure, we have all felt at some stage of our lives that the world is united against Africa. But this World Cup, and particularly your last match, has shown the enormous goodwill towards our continent. You won - we all won - because you opened so many hearts and eyes.

The lasting trophy to take away from the tournament is this incredible moment of unity. I wish we could preserve it and invoke it more broadly for the development and wellbeing of the continent. There is no reason why we should wait another four years for another moment of solidarity; we can draw upon what you have created, now.

Kofi A. Annan
Chair of the Africa Progress Panel

By Liz Clarke  |  July 6, 2010; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , Ghana  | Tags: 2010 World Cup, Africa, Ghana  
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Next: Uruguay vs. Netherlands: Dutch advance to World Cup final

Comments

What a message!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Nothing more to add.

Posted by: omoba9419 | July 6, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Nice letter, too bad it's wasted on such a classless bunch. They dived and embellished their way to victory against the United States, and had no right to even be IN the quarterfinals in the first place.

Yes, I'm bitter. Go fly a kite.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 6, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding!

Meanwhile Uruguay and arguably all of South America are the losers, especially as the culpable player and coach have stated that they are not ashamed of the handball.

Posted by: WorldCup | July 6, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Nice letter, too bad it's wasted on such a classless bunch.

Posted by: kdiff813
--------------------------

"Classless" personified.

Ghana was the better team on the day they played us (the USA). Get over it.

Fantastic letter by Annan. Well done Ghana.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | July 6, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Nice job, Ghana!

Posted by: celestun100 | July 6, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

and uruguay was the better team when they faced ghana. I think africa is just trying to find a hero. If ghana is what they want, then thats what they can have. I personally think ghana is not better than uruguay when it comes to cheating. Just ask steven appiah why the grass in south africa is so nice to lay on.

Posted by: Norteno4life | July 6, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

PrinceBuster21, I typically admire, respect, and value classiness. But when it comes to Ghana, Mexico, Italy, the Red Bull New York MetroStar Red Bulls of Harrison, New Jersey, and the Flounders, count me out. I'll spew and be classless and downright mean all I want to be. I will never respect anyone who plays for any of those teams, unless they end up playing for United or the USMNT (unlikely, if they play for any of those teams), in which case they will have earned my utmost adoration by default.

But until then, they are all slimy scum, and I detest them all.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 6, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@kdiff813: So you don't respect divers unless they wear American colors? How noble of you!

Posted by: tundey | July 7, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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