June 9, 2014 by jjrawlings
As the World Cup draws near, Ghana’s former president, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, says a little more determination is what the Black Stars require to win the World Cup in Brazil.
The former President said Africa and the world saw evidence of how competent the Stars were in the last African Cup tournament and especially the 2010 World Cup. He said he was certain they will impress, stating, “but for some unfortunate mistakes, we could have seen our victory” in those two tournaments.
President Rawlings said the Black Stars were among the best in the world as far as skill and stamina was concerned, but a heightened determination and the need to put aside self-preservation and the fear of hurting their legs was key to their progress at the World Cup. He reminded them of the determination of the Libyans at the last CAN tournament, stating that allowing a determined Pharaohs of Egypt to beat them 2-1 I in Cairo after they had received 6-1 thumping in Kumasi, exposed a lack of absolute fighting spirit and charged the Stars to exhibit the highest form of determination in Brazil.
The former President who was at the Kotoka International recently airport to see off the Black Stars to the Netherlands, cited two personal experiences to illustrate instances where he denied himself the right to self-preservation in order to save the dignity of honourable men no matter the risk to his own life.
In one instance in the late 70s, he glided an aircraft whose engines had ceased and landed it on the Tema-Accra Motorway. He mentioned how the passenger, the owner of the aircraft and friend of the then head of state, had insulted the dignity of an elderly man of integrity who was an engineer at Ghana Airways saying, “cowards, that’s why they are poor people.”
The statement infuriated him so much so that he took off with the partially serviceable aircraft with the passenger still on board, in defence of the dignity and integrity of the experienced engineer, knowing very well the potential consequences.
President Rawlings also mentioned a period of combat on 31st December 1981 where he had to hand his personal weapon to a civilian who had joined in the battle to protect himself at the peril of his (President Rawlings’). For him it was important that in leading a cause, that he should be ready to protect his colleagues and expected the Black Stars to be ready to sacrifice, for the course of defending the national pride.
“The World Cup is a symbol of great honour for the world and they should attach that level of respect and dedication in all their games as it is a window into the greatness of Ghana as the Black Star of Africa,” President Rawlings said.