By Selina Böttcher
When I tell people in Ghana that I am from Germany, the first reaction is often a referral to soccer. The German “Bundesliga” is known worldwide, and therefore, people often even recognize the name of my hometown, Stuttgart, because of its soccer team.
This weekend, I finally got a chance to attend a game in the stadium of Accra and to experience Ghanaian soccer. Accra’s “hearts of oak” competed against the “Bibiani Gold Stars” on Saturday at 3pm. I arrived at the stadium a little after 2pm with a group of friends. We grabbed some food – sausages and bofrot – and secured our seats with a good view on the field.
The stadium was almost entirely empty; only a few spectators were scattered over the grandstand. This made it easy for us to pick the best seats.
In the first half, it was not looking good for our team. The “Bibiani Gold Stars” scored a goal after only a few minutes. The people on the seats around us were devastated and expressed their frustration loudly.
What caught our eye was the aggressive playing behavior of the teams. Players were constantly knocked down or pushed out of the way, and often someone was lying on the ground so that the paramedics had to run onto the field. Accordingly, there was a lot of extra time after the game.
However, in the second half, the “hearts of oak” were catching up. When the game finally ended with a score of 2:1 for the “hearts”, the joy was great. People all around us freaked out, ran through the rows, screamed and hugged strangers. Soccer in Ghana means temperament and passion – just as much as it does in Germany.