On this day 1 December 1963 (Exactly 56 years ago today) Ghana won its first Africa Cup of Nations trophy after beating Sudan 3-0 in the final of the 4th edition of the biannual tournament in Accra.
How Dr Kwame Nkrumah Won The Africa Nations Cup for Ghana
Dr Kwame Nkrumah realised that there was the need to identify things that would unify the country and instil in the people a sense of pride in the country.
Mass participation in sports presented an arena where a sense of camaraderie could easily be developed.
Football was by far the most popular of the sports in Ghana and naturally presented a nationwide platform on which a sense of ‘oneness’ could be promoted.
Central Organisation of Sports
The Central Organisation of Sports (COS) was set up by Dr Kwame Nkrumah on July 1, 1960 with Mr Ohene Djan, who was at the time the Chairman of the Ghana Amateur Football Association (GAGA), as director of sports.
The main aim of setting up the Central Organisation of Sports was to promote, encourage, develop and control sports in the country, it was also to exercise final control over the external relations of all forms of Sports in Ghana, encourage and promote competitions between Ghana and international teams.
The Formation of the Ghana Republican Club
One of the first acts of the Central Organisation of Sports was to set up the Republikan Sporting Club. This was announced by Ohene Djan on January 23, 1961 on behalf of the president.
The new club, according to the director, was to be at the forefront of reconstruction of Sports in the country, and was to be involved in all aspects of Sports in Ghana.
“The director explained that the club was formed on the instructions of Osagyefo President Kwame Nkrumah.”
Football occupied most of the attention of the Central Organisation of Sports. Due to its popularity, the first team to be developed after the formation of the Republikan Sporting Club was the football team, known as the Ghana Republikan Club.
On June 12, 1960, in a message to the Annual Conference of the Ghana Amateur Football Association at Ho in the Volta Region, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah hinted formation of model club. Among other things, Osagyefo said;
“My interest in soccer is so keen that I propose in the near future, to encourage the formation of a model club which will offer leadership and inspiration to football clubs in the country.
“This club shall be known a “Ghana Republikan s.” to commemorate the launching of your Three -Year – Development Plan in the year of our Republic.
‘I need not to remind you that football is now in the forefront of Ghana. It is in fact our national game.”
As a model club, two players were selected from each team forming a the base for an amalgamated Ghana team which won one league title and four 4 consecutive FA Cups.
This team formed a core of the Black Stars team that won the Nations Cup in 1963.
Road to the Final
The Black Stars made their Africa Cup of Nations debut with a 1- 1 draw against Tunisia in the opening match of the tournament on 24 November. Wilberforce Mfum scored Ghana’s first goal in the history of the Nations Cup in the 11th minute, while Mohamed Salah Jedidi equalised for the North Africans in the 36th minute; becoming the first player to score against Ghana in the competition.
Edward Acquah scored two goals as Ghana beat defending champions Ethiopia 2 – 0 in their next match to book their place in the final.
Sudan finished first in their group ahead of Egypt and Nigeria to book a final date with the Black Stars.
Venue: The Accra Sports Stadium
Date: 1st December, 1963
Ghana 3-0 Sudan
Scorers: Aggrey-Finn (pen) 62, Mfum 72, 82]
Three times champions of West Africa, Ghana ascended the continental throne, after beating Sudan 3-0 in the final of the African Cup of Nations.
There was much combination among the soccer Trojans- Edward Acquah, Leonard Acquah and Mfum at the early stages of the 1st half.
Ofei Dodoo replaced Leonard Acquah and he brought some life into the game in the 2nd half.
Due to Ghana’s unrelenting pressure, a Sudan defender in a desperate attempt to clear his lines handled in the penalty box and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot.
Skipper Aggrey Fyn stepped up to beat goalkeeper Sabit Dudu from the spot in the 62nd min.
There were some interesting exchanges between Agrrey Fyn and Edward Acquah moments before the spot kick was taken.
When Aggrey Fynn, picked the ball Edward Acquah, told him Nanabenyin as he was affectionately called aren’t you afraid of taking Ghana penalty for me am gone.He said it in Fante and this shows the fear of Ghanaians taking penalty since the early stages of Ghana football. This second half goal opened the door for Mfum to bang in two goals to complete the wallop
The 18 – Man Squad
Dodoo Ankrah (Real Republicans), Evans Oblitey (Real Republicans),Ben Acheampong former Ben Simmons (Real Republicans), Franklin Crentsil(Real Republicans), Kwame Adarkwa (Kotoko) , Kofi Pare (Real Republicans), Wilberforce Mfum (Kotoko),Agyemang Gyau (Real Republicans, Leonard Acquah (Defence Stars), E.E Degraft (Corners Stones), Osei Kofi (Kotoko).
Addo Odametey (Real Republicans), Edward Acquah (Real Republicans), Mohammed Salisu (Kotoko) Aggrey Fynn(Captain) (Real Republicans), Ofei Dodoo (Hearts of Oak), Joe Aikens (Corners Stones), Atta Kwame (B.A United
Head Coach: C.K Gyamfi
Assistant coach: Ben Kouffie
Team Manager: Kwabena Haggan
Director of Sports: Ohene Djan
On this day 1 December 2001(Exactly 18 years ago) Mr Kofi Nsiah officially assumed his new role as new General Secretary of Ghana Football Association (GFA).
Nsiah turned up the second best applicant during the selection interview for the position at the Public Service Commission a couple of weeks earlier.
Mr Obeng Busia, who emerged the tops at the interview, turned down the job offer because of certain adverse remarks made about his salary.
On this day 1 December 1979 (Exactly 40 years ago today) Azumah Nelson beat Billy Kwame in Accra by a decision in eight to mark his professional debut.
On this day 1 December 1995(Exactly 24 years ago) Azumah Nelson recovered the WBC World Super Featherweight title in his rematch with Gabriel Ruelas by knocking him out in round five.
Location: Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, California, USA
Judge: Daniel Van de Wiele 35-39
Judge: Carol Castellano 36-38
Judge: Angel Luis Guzman 36-38
Referee: Marty Denkin
Working off the ropes, Nelson knocked Ruelas down with a left hook to the body in round 4. It was Azumah Nelson’s first fight in 18 months.
Ruelas was knocked down in the 1st round from a straight right hand.
A seemingly weakening and discouraged Ruelas was stopped standing in round 5.
By George ‘Alan Green’ Mahamah