Most World Cup years I need to go through a complicated process to decide what country to cheer for. Ideally, I look for: (1) Underdog status, preferably a "less developed" country; (2) Relatively good human rights record; (3) Reputation for friendliness and (4) Ability to throw a party.
But this year, Ghana, my favourite country that isn't Canada qualified. No need for consulting any reference materials.
On Saturday, they beat Czechs, 2-0! Massive upset!
Is it just a soccer game? Here's what my friend Steve Tetteh wrote from Accra in an email to a few of us who used to live in Ghana:
Warm Regards from Ghana. I've never, in my life, felt this good to be a Ghanaian. Victory over the Czechs was so sweet and it shows what determination can do in the life of man or a nation.
The oneness shown by all -- that we belong to one country, no religion, no tribe, no class, no nothing, only Ghanaians and Africans and human beings -- celebrating victory was so emotional. I hope it continues this way to the next stage. I pray that this approach will form the basis for a change in attitude of Ghanaians to life.
Tomorrow they play the United States, a country that would not score well on my list.