Ghana national football team
The Ghana national football team represents Ghana in men's international football and has done so since the 1950s. The team consists of twenty players including the technical team. The team is nicknamed the Black Stars after the Black Star of Africa in the flag of Ghana. It is governed by the Ghana Football Association, the governing body for football in Ghana and the oldest football association in Africa. Prior to 1957, the team played as the Gold Coast. The team represents both FIFA and CAF.
Although the team qualified for the senior FIFA World Cup for the first time in 2006, they had qualified for four Olympic Games Football Tournaments when the tournament was still a full senior national team competition; their best achievement was the third position at the 1992 Summer Olympics. The team has won the Africa Cup of Nations four times and has been runner-up five times. After going through 2005 unbeaten, the Ghana national football team won the FIFA Best Mover of the Year Award and reached the second round of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, they became only the third African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals, and in 2014 they competed in their third consecutive World Cup.
20th [century]The Gold Coast Football Association was founded in 1920, succeeded by the Ghana Football Association in 1957, which affiliated to Confederation of African Football and FIFA the following year.
On 19 August 1962 at the Accra Sports Stadium, the Black Stars played Spanish giants Real Madrid, who were at the time Spanish champions, former European champions and intercontinental champions, and drew 3–3.
Charles Kumi Gyamfi became coach in 1961, and the Black Stars won successive African Cup of Nations titles, in 1963 and 1965, and achieved their record win, 13–2 away to Kenya, shortly after the second of these. They also reached the final of the tournament in 1968 and 1970, losing 1–0 on each occasion, to DR Congo and Sudan respectively. Their domination of this tournament earned the Black Stars team the nicknames of "the Black Stars of West Africa" and "the Black Stars of Africa" in the 1960s.
The team had no success in FIFA World Cup qualification during this era, and failed to qualify for three successive African Cup of Nations in the 1970s, but qualified for the Olympic Games football tournaments, becoming the first team from sub-Saharan Africa to qualify for the Games, and reaching the quarter-finals in 1964 and withdrawing on political grounds in 1976 later winning the 1982 African cup of nations. After three failures to reach the tournament final, the 1992 African Cup of Nations saw the Black Stars finish second.
21st centuryPrior to the year 2000, disharmony among the squad which eventually led to parliamentary and executive intervention to settle issues between two squad members, Abedi Pele and Anthony Yeboah in the late 1990s, may have played some part in the failure of the team to build on the successes of the national underage teams in the late 1990s, but a new generation of Black Stars players who went to the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship final became the core of the team at the 2002 African Cup of Nations, and were undefeated for a year in 2005 and reached the finals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the first time the team had reached the global stage of the tournament. The Black Stars started by succumbing to a 2–0 defeat to eventual champions Italy, but wins over the Czech Republic and the United States saw them through to the second round, where they lost 3–0 to Brazil.
In 2008, Ghana reached a high ranking of 14 according to the FIFA World Rankings. The Black Stars went on to secure a 100 percent record in their qualification campaign, winning the group and becoming the first African team to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In the final tournament, the team competed in Group D with Germany, Serbia and Australia. Ghana reached the round of 16 where they played the United States, winning 2–1 in extra time to become the third African nation to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. The team then lost to Uruguay in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals, having missed a penalty kick in extra time after a certain goal was prevented by Luis Suárez's deliberate handball, who was then shown a red card for his actions.
In 2013 Ghana became the only team in Africa to reach four consecutive semi-finals of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations twice, from 1963 and 1970 and from 2008 and 2013.
Ghana was sufficiently highly ranked by FIFA to start their qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in the Second round. They won the group, and in the following round qualified for the 2014 World Cup finals in November 2013, beating Egypt 7–3 on aggregate in a two-legged play-off. Ghana was drawn in Group G for the finals, where they faced Germany, Portugal, and the United States. The World Cup finals ended up in disappointment as Ghana exited in the group stages with issues of poor planning and payment bonuses being blamed for the poor performance, although they did manage a 2–2 draw with Germany, who ended up winning the competition. They would be the only team to not lose to Germany in that tournament.
Kits and crestThe black star is present on the Flag of Ghana and national coat of arms in the centre of the national crest. Adopted following the independence of Ghana in 1957, the black star has always been included in its kits. The Black Stars' kits were sponsored by Puma SE from 2005, with the deal ending in 2014.
The Black Star kit is used instead of the original gold, green, and red coloured football kit based on the colours of the Ghana national flag. The Black Stars have used an all-white and partly black football kit which was worn from the years 1957 to 1989 and again from 2006 until December 2014.
Between 1990 and 2006 the Ghana national three team used the kit in the colours of the national flag of Ghana, with gold, green and red used extensively, as in the team's crest and also known as the Pan-African colours. The gold with green and red kit concept and design was also used in the sixties and seventies, and designed with gold and green vertical stripes and red shoulders. An all black second kit was introduced in 2008 and in 2015, Black Stars' gold-red-green coloured kit and all black coloured kit is to be reassigned to the position of 1st and 2nd kits following the induction of a brown with blue and gold coloured Black Stars 3rd kit in 2012.
The Ghana national football team's football kit for the 2014 FIFA World Cup was ranked as the best kit of the tournament by BuzzFeed.
|Kit supplier||Period||Contract date||Contract duration||Value||Notes|
Grounds and training groundsThere is an unknown home stadium for the Black Stars. World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches have been played at the Essipong Stadium and Sekondi-Takoradi Stadium in Sekondi-Takoradi, the Len Clay Stadium, Kumasi Sports Stadium and Abrankese Stadium in Kumasi, the Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, the Accra Sports Stadium in the Accra and the Tamale Stadium in Tamale. Some smaller, regional stadia were also used in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying and 2004 African Cup of Nations qualification qualifying campaigns.
The Black Stars' training facilities and training grounds are located at Agyeman Badu Stadium, Berekum Sports Stadium in Brong-Ahafo, the Tema Sports Stadium in Tema and the multi-functional Lizzy Sports Complex in Legon.
Media coverage83 percent of the Ghanaian people are Akan-speakers, and about 21 percent are English-speakers; match schedules of the Black Stars are broadcast both in English as in the case of inter-continental matches and in Akan nationally by Adom TV, PeaceFM, AdomFM and HappyFM. During the scheduled qualification for the 2014 World Cup national broadcaster GTV, a sub-division of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, broadcast to the Ghanaian public home qualifiers with away qualifiers broadcast by the satellite television broadcasting corporation Viasat 1. The friendly match against Turkey in August 2013 was televised by Viasat 1 and the qualifiers for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2018 Inter-Continental Championships are scheduled for public broadcast by the corporations GFA TV, GBC and Viasat 1.
Organization and financeThe Black Stars as it stands now has no official head because of corrupt practices by the then president, Kwesi Nyantakyi. and vice-president George Afriyie, with Frank Davis as director of football, and Edward Bawa as treasurer. The Ghana Football Association signed a CN¥92.2 million deal with Ghanaian state-run oil and gas exploration corporation, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, to sponsor the Black Stars and the renewable contract saw the oil and gas exploration corporation become the global headline sponsor of the Black Stars, with a yearly Black Stars player salary wage bill, following the gold mining corporations Ashanti Goldfields Corporation and Goldfields Ghana Limited, which had been sponsoring the Black Stars since 2005.
On 28 August 2013, Ghana Football Association launched a TV channel and named GFA TV, thus becoming the first football association on the African continent to launch its own TV network. The channel has the exclusive rights to broadcast all the Black Stars' matches. In November 2013, the Black Stars signed a 2013–2015 CN¥30.6 million and an additional classified multi-million private bank sponsorship deal with the Ghanaian state-run private banking institution UniBank.
SupportersThe Black Stars maintain an average stadium match attendance of 60,000+ and a match attendance high of 80,000+, such as in the case of the Black Stars' 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter-final against Uruguay in which was attended by 84,017 spectators. Ghana's match against England on 29 March 2011 had the largest away following for any association football national team since the re-opening of Wembley Stadium in 2007. The match was watched by 700 million people around the world.
Following the team's appearances at the 2006 and 2010 World Cup tournaments they were greeted by several hundred avid fans dancing and singing at Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
RivalriesThe Black Stars' main footballing rivalry is with the Super Eagles, the national team of Nigeria. The "Battle of Supremacy on the Gulf of Guinea" is between two of the most successful teams on the African continent. The proximity of the two countries to each other, a dispute between the different association football competitions and wider diplomatic competition for influence across West Africa add to this rivalry.
In books and popular cultureProducts including books, documentary films, Azonto dances and songs have been made in the name of the Ghana national football team. These may be intended with commercial motives but are focused on previous and future World Cups or Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
- Books: Several books have been published on the team's history and participation in major tournaments. These include Ghana, The Rediscovered Soccer Might: Watch Out World!, about the history and performance of the Black Stars and also all the major association football national teams that the Black Stars have ever played against, and The Black Stars of Ghana by Alan Whelan; about Black Stars commencing their progress through the final rounds of the 2010 World Cup and into the quarter-finals.
- Documentary films: In 2010 Miracle Films Ghana Limited showcased a vintage documentary film picture, Kwame Nkrumah & Ghana's Black Stars, about Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah "Africa's man of the 2nd millennium" and "Pan-African pioneer", who invested a lot of energy into making Ghana's association football national team – the Black Stars – a force in African football.
- Nickname: The Black Star Line, a shipping industry line incorporated by the founder of the Back-to-Africa movement, civil rights movement leader Marcus Garvey and the organiser of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League from 1919 to 1922, gives the Ghana national football team their nicknames, the Black Stars of West Africa and the Black Stars of Africa.
- Dances: Upon the Black Stars scoring against opposition teams, dance forms of the worldwide popular Ghanaian Azonto were performed by Black Stars players in their goal celebrations in match victories at the 2010 World Cup and in 2013, a new elite dance version of the Ghanaian Azonto named; "", was established and showcased at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations by the Black Stars players. Black Stars goal celebrations in match victories at the 2014 World Cup and upon scoring against opposition teams, are to establish and showcase Alkayida.
- Songs: On occasions of past World Cups or African Championships, a number of Ghanaian musicians with music producers created hiplife football songs which were composed in the Akan language – the 2006 World Cup song, "Tuntum Nsorom Ye Ko Yen Anim", musical composed by the Musicians Union of Ghana, is to motivate the Black Stars to perform creditably in their quest for the capturing of the World Cup trophy. Black Stars' captain and top-goalscorer Asamoah Gyan recorded and released a Hiplife song with 'Castro The Destroyer', where he features under the alias 'Baby Jet'. The song is entitled "African Girls" and is sung in the Akan language and was launched onto the Ghanaian screens, continental West Africa screens and onto the Sub-Saharan Africa screens. The music video shows the famous "Asamoah Gyan Dance" goal celebration which he demonstrated at the 2010 World Cup and in the Premier League. The song "African Girls" won an award at the Ghana Music Awards in 2011. The 2010 World Cup song, "Ghana Black Stars " composed by Ghanaian hiplife music group "Kings and Queens Entertainment" approved by the Ghana Football Association as the GFA has indicated that the Black Stars are a protected brand.
Current technical staffLast updated: January 2020
Former head coachesSince 1957 Ghana has had 32 different head coaches and three caretakers. C. K. Gyamfi is the most successful of these, leading the Black Stars to three Africa Cup of Nations titles – in 1963, 1965 and 1982 – making Gyamfi the joint most successful coach in the competition's history. Fred Osam Duodu led the Black Stars to their 1978 Africa Cup of Nations title; Ratomir Dujković, Milovan Rajevac, and James Kwesi Appiah, have all led the Black Stars to World Cup qualification.
Current squadThe following 23 players were selected for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches against Sudan on 27 and 31 March 2020.
Caps and goals updated as 18 November 2019 after the match against São Tomé and Príncipe.
Recent call-upsThe following players have been called up for Ghana in the last 12 months.
- DEC Player refused to join the team after the call-up.
- INJ Withdrew because of injury.
- PRE Preliminary squad.
- RET Player has retired from international football.
- SUS Suspended from the national team.
Under-23The under-23 level from the 1992 Summer Olympics competes in Olympic football tournaments, Football at the All-Africa Games, CAF U-23 Championship and is restricted to using players aged 23 years and under. The football at the Olympic Games is thus considered as an under-23 World Cup and since the Olympic Games of 1992; the under-23 level has participated in 5 Olympic Games, becoming the first African team to win an Olympic medal when they won bronze in 1992.
Under-20The under-20 level is considered as the feeder level to the Black Stars senior squad and has competed at the FIFA U-20 World Cup since its inception in the 1970s. The under-20 level captured the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2009 after defeating Brazil 4–3 on penalties after the match finished 0–0 in extra time, and becoming the first on the Africa continent to do so. The under-20 level has been champions of the African Youth Championship three times: in 1995, 1999 and 2009, as well as twice runners-up in 2001 and 2013.
Under-17The under-17 level is the youngest level and players chosen may not be more than 17 years of age. The team represents Ghana in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The under-17 team have twice been FIFA U-17 World Cup champions, in 1991 and 1995. Additionally they finished as runners up on two occasions, 1993 and 1997. The under-17 level has participated in eight of the 15 tournaments of the FIFA U-17 World Cup, debuting in Scotland 1989 FIFA U-16 World Championship and dominating the FIFA U-17 World Cup competition in the 1990s, where they reached four consecutive finals. They also twice won the African U-17 Championship.
Africa Cup of Nations recordGhana has won the Africa Cup of Nations four times – in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982 – bettered by Cameroon and Egypt. As the first winner of three Nations Cup tournaments, Ghana obtained the right to permanently hold the trophy in 1978. The Black Stars have qualified for the tournament 22 times in total, finishing as runners-up five times, third once, and fourth four times. Thus, Ghana has the most final game appearances at the tournament with nine, essentially making the final in almost half of its appearances in the tournament. Ghana also holds the record of most consecutive semi-final appearances with six straight between 2008 and 2017.
|Africa Cup of Nations Record||*|
|Africa Cup of Nations Finals||99||54||20||25||130||82||+48|
African Nations Championship recordGhana has competed in three African Nations Championship tournaments, twice finishing as runners-up.
West African Nations Cup and WAFU Nations Cup recordWest African Nations Cup Record
- Note: The tournament was not held in 1985.
FIFA World Cup recordThe Black Stars have qualified for three FIFA World Cup tournaments; 2006, 2010, and 2014. In 2006, Ghana was the only African side to advance to the second round of the World Cup in Germany, and was the sixth nation in a row from Africa to progress beyond the group stages of the World Cup. The Black Stars had the youngest team in the 2006 edition with an average age of 23 years and 352 days, and were praised for their improving performance. FIFA ranked Ghana 13th out of the 32 countries who competed in the tournament.
In the 2010 World Cup, Ghana progressed beyond the group stages of the World Cup in South Africa, and reached the quarter-finals where they were eliminated by Uruguay. The Black Stars were defeated on penalty shootout after Luis Suárez hand-balled on the goal line deep into extra time, preventing a certain winning goal. Of the 32 countries that participated in the 2010 edition, FIFA ranked Ghana 7th.
After beating Egypt 7–3 on aggregate in November 2013, Ghana qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They were drawn in Group G with Germany, the United States and Portugal. For the first time, Ghana fell in the group stage, tying Germany 2–2 and losing to both the United States and Portugal by 2–1.
quarter-final match at Soccer City, Johannesburg on 2 July 2010
HonoursLast updated 8 February 2015
- Africa Cup of Nations
- African Nations Championship
- Nkrumah Cup
- West African Nations Cup
- CEDEAO Cup
- WAFU Nations Cup
Other tournaments and cups
- Ugandan Independence Tournament
- Pestabola Merdeka
- Samuel K. Doe Cup 1986
- Black Stars Tournament 1993
- Great Artificial River Championship 1999
- LG Cup
- African National Team of the Year Winners : 1983, 2006, 2010
- FIFA most improved team of the year award Winner: 2005
Results and fixtures
, at the Estadio Mario Alberto Kempes, in Córdoba, Argentina.
Most capped players
|10||Karim Abdul Razak||1975–1988||70||25|
Most goals scored
|6||Karim Abdul Razak||1975–1988||25||70|
|7||Wilberforce Kwadwo Mfum||?–?||24||?|