This is football in Ghana – The Athletic

Technical problems meant there was no Wi-Fi signal in the Baba Yara Stadium on Friday for Ghana’s World Cup qualifying play-off first leg against Nigeria. The BBC had planned to offer live trilingual commentary from the 40,000-seat pitch in Kumasi, but lack of internet, coupled with 4G phone signal issues, meant it had to offer ad hoc commentary ever since. London.

Local commentators in Ghana resorted to dictating the events of the game via their phones to radio stations based elsewhere.

Thirty minutes before kick-off, a member of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) burst into the press conference room to offer printed team sheets to the assembled media, before shouting: “S’ please, please close the door! We can’t handle the pressure! “.

The first ‘Jollof Derby’ since 2011 has been African football at its most absurd and frustrating.

No one scored, yet emotions were such that ambulances had to enter the surrounding Baba Yara race track to help fans who had passed out from stress.

Ghana 0-0 Nigeria was probably the strongest a football match could get without a definite result. It was a match The Athletic traveled thousands of miles to witness, only to watch him stand in a chair next to an off-duty policeman, such was his boisterous nature.

“Does Ghana have a chance against Nigeria? was the debate question on Ghanaian TV show Sports Punch the day before the game. It was a deliberately provocative framing, but for much of the week Ghana fans were more nervous than excited about facing their biggest rivals, Nigeria.

A look at the attackers available to each team makes for unsettling reading; Nigeria could call on the goalscoring skills of

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