Members of Parliament (MP) and their leadership have urged the senior national football team, the Black Stars to go all out to win the first leg of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying playoffs against the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Friday.
The legislators have also indicated they would wear the national team jersey to conduct the business of parliament as a practical demonstration of their unflinching support for the team in the crucial tie.
A win for the Black Stars, they said, would uplift the mood of the nation, bring about excitement and happiness to Ghanaians and assuage the pains occasioned by the team's first round exit from the 2021 AFCON.
The MPs have therefore called on all Ghanaians irrespective of their political and religious inclinations to rally behind the team in support and prayers to win this crucial match.
Wearing of jerseys
The First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who presided over deliberations, also bought into a suggestion by the NDC MP for Adaklu Constituency, Governs Kwame Agbodza, that members of the House wear their Black Stars jerseys to the Chamber as a way of showing their support to the team.
"Going informal on that day by wearing the Black Stars jersey to the Chamber does not mean we are lowering the standards, but it is to show our support to the team even if we cannot be at the stadium to cheer them on," he said.
The leadership of the House made the rallying call to Ghanaians when the NDC MP for the New Edubiase Constituency, Adams Abdul Salam, made a statement on the floor of Parliament regarding Ghana's crunch World Cup playoff games against Nigeria.
Other MPs who contributed to the statement included the Deputy Majority Leader, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, Mr Agbodza and the NDC MP for the Talensi Constituency, Benson Tongo Baba.
Mr Salam stated that tomorrow's encounter was a crucial one for Ghana so the Black Stars could not afford to fail the nation this time, after their early exit from the 2021 AFCON and their failure to qualify for the last FIFA World Cup in 2018 in Russia.
Rekindling old rivalry
He added that age-long rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria in all facets of life, including music, education and even the most trivial one regarding the tastiest jollof meal had even made this play-off game very crucial and a must-win affair for Ghana.
He, therefore, stressed the need for all Ghanaians to cheer the Black Stars and offer their unflinching support to the team so that "collectively we can qualify to the World Cup".
Mr Agbodza, in his contribution, said it was football, and for that matter the Black Stars that united Ghanaians and thus suggested that MPs show the way by wearing the jersey to Parliament.
"So, Mr Speaker, if I have my way, I would let all MPs who have the Black Stars jersey to wear them to the Chamber on Friday as a way of throwing our support behind the team to win. And imagine if the Black Stars qualify for the World Cup, it would help bring the heat in the country down," Mr Agbodza said.
Mr Afenyo-Markin, who is also the NPP MP for the Effutu Constituency, sent good wishes to the team ahead of tomorrow's match and called on Ghanaians, especially politicians, to do away with their partisanship when it came to the issues regarding the national team.
" When they succeed the benefits that will accrue to the football fraternity and the nation is enormous so let us cheer them on", he said.
Mr Baba, onetime President of the Ghana Olympic Committee, called on technical handlers not to drop their guard but to approach the match with all the seriousness it deserved.