Officials Caused Starlets Exit
The adage ‘Woe unto a group who has no elder’ typifies what accounted for Black Starlets exit from the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
The Starlets management committee should not be held guiltless for failing to assume full responsibility by ensuring that the quarter final clash against Mali was declared rained off.
And like a sheep to the slaughter house, the young players were exposed to a cold and bad pitch/weather conditions at the Indira Ghandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday.
Eventually, the African silver medalists succumbed to a painful 1-2 loss to Mali due to bad condition and poor officiating orchestrated by an Algerian referee.
Yesterday, it emerged that FIFA had to shift the Brazil-England first semi final clash from the same pitch(Indira Ghandhi) to Kolkata due to poor pitch conditions.
The question crying for answer is why did the Starlets Management Committee chairman, Kwaku Eyiah and other officials fail to protest due to bad weather conditions which affected the pitch so much that it affected play?
DAILY GUIDE SPORTS checks indicate that it rained from dawn of the match day till the game was over.
Ironically, a crisis meeting preceded the game to decide whether or not the game should be played due to the continuous rains.
Yet, ‘our big men’ failed to persuade organizers of the game to declare it rained off.
It was a bad spectacle watching the game from the stand. The few Indian soccer fans who defied the rains to the Stadium made mockery of the combatants (Africans) who played badly due to the bad nature of the pitch (Soggy).
I asked myself whether officials of England or Brazil would have subjected their young folks to such a bad condition.
Again, unlike the Malians who thought it prudent to restart the game in fresh(Dry) shirts, Ghana resumed with their soaked and muddied jerseys.
No wonder goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim attributed the second goal to his soaked gloves which made punching extremely difficult.
In a FIFA release yesterday, it said ” Following a thorough assessment of the pitch conditions at Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Stadium, which has been affected by severe rainfall over the past few days, FIFA has decided to move the venue of the semi final clash between England and Brazil due to be played on October 25 to Kolkata Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.”
It added that “Despite the great efforts by all involved parties, including the authorities of Guwahati, to preserve the pitch, FIFA has taken this decision following consultations with both teams in order to safeguard the player’s health and to ensure the best playing conditions.
“FIFA also regret to shift the match to Kolkata.”
The players should be held guiltless, but rather hold our ‘Big men’ responsible for the premature exit.
From Kofi Owusu Aduonum, Guwuhati, India