The Black Stars is the National Football Team of Ghana who represent the country in International Soccer Games. The Ghana National Team has always been one of the best football teams in Africa. They started representing Ghana in Association Football since 1950. Here are very interesting facts you never knew about the Black Stars of Ghana.
1. Formerly the Gold Coast Football Association
The Ghana National Team metamorphosed from the Gold Coast Football Association which was founded in 1920. It was after Ghana’s independence in 1957 that the name was changed to Ghana National Team. It is currently being overseen by the Ghana Football Association, the governing body for football in Ghana, as well as the oldest football association in Africa, also founded in 1920. In 1958, the team became affiliated to Confederation of African Football and FIFA.
2. The Black Star
Ghana’s national team’s nickname, the “Black Stars”, can be traced to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association. As Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African nation to gain independence from Britain in 1957, the newly self-governing nation changed its name from Gold Coast and adopted a flag that featured the tri-color banner of Ethiopia and a black star that recalled Marcus Garvey’s pan-Africanism, black nationalism and, specifically, the Black Star Line.
The football team therefore adopted the nickname, thus, finding a representation both on the Flag of Ghana and national coat of arms in the center of the primordial national crest. This was adopted following the independence of Ghana in 1957, and since then, the black star has always been included in its kits. The Ghana national football team (The Black Stars) introduced the kit color to coordinate with the national flag of Ghana and was worn from the years 1990 to 2006 designed with the national colors gold with green and red visibly decorated on its kits, as in the team’s crest and in general, Pan-African colors.
Subsequently, Black Stars’ kit was introduced and was 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 that coordinates with the colours of the Ghana national flag. The Black Stars are currently sporting an all-white and partly black football kit which was worn from the years 1957 to 1989 and re-worn from 2006 until December 2014. The Ghana national football team kit is ranked as the best conceptual artistic and designed football kit, and the current kit man for the Ghanaian Football Association is Andrew Strong.
3. Olympic Games
The Black Stars had qualified for five straight Olympic Games Football Tournaments when the tournament was still a full senior national team competition.
4. World Cup Feats
The 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 FIFA 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 FIFA World Cup 2006 with an average age of 23 years, 352 days, and were commended for their improving performance. That same year, FIFA ranked Ghana 13th out of the 32 countries who competed in the tournament.
In 2008, Ghana reached a high-ranking of 14 according to the FIFA World Rankings.
The Black Stars, in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification matches secured a 100 percent record in their qualification campaign, becoming the first African team to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Of the 32 countries that participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, FIFA ranked Ghana 7th.
In the 2010 World Cup, Ghana progressed beyond the group stages of the World Cup in South-Africa, becoming the only third African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. However, they were eventually eliminated by Uruguay.
After beating Egypt 7–3 on aggregate in November 2013, Ghana qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, granting them the licence to compete in their third consecutive World Cup. They were drawn in Group G with Germany, USA 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. The Ghana team currently occupies the 30th position in the latest FIFA World ranking, and 3rd position in the continental ranking.
5. Prominent Coaches
Kwesi Appiah is Ghana’s current head coach. He took over the reins of the national team in 2012 and became the first black African coach to take Ghana to the World Cup finals.
Since 1957 Ghana has had thirty-two 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. This made 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.
6. African Cup of Nations
The team has won the Africa Cup of Nations four times: in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982, and has been runner-up 5 times: in 1968, 1970, 1992, 2010, and 2015. It was their domination of this tournament that earned the Black Stars team the nicknames of “the Black Stars of West Africa” and “the Black Stars of Africa” in the 1960’s. The Black Stars have qualified for the tournament 20 times in total, finishing as runners-up five times, third once, and fourth three times. Consequently, Ghana has the most final game appearances at the tournament with nine, essentially making the final in half of its appearances in the tournament. Ghana also holds the record of most consecutive semi-final appearances with five straight appearances between 2008 and 2015.
7. Tv Channel
On 28 August 2013, Ghana Football Association (GFA) launched its own Television Channel and Tv programme called “GFA TV”, and so becoming the first football association in Africa establish a personal TV programme and network with its own exclusive rights and television rights to the broadcasting of all the Black Stars’ matches.
8. Largest Match Following
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.
9. Best Stars of the Black Stars Ever
Ther following are the best players of the Ghana National Team so far, with the position they play(ed), their individual match appearances and number of goals scored during their service years:
Mohammed Ahmed Polo (Left-winger)
Samuel Kuffour (Defender, 1993-2006, 59 caps, three goals)
Ibrahim Sunday (Winger, Coach, 1966-77, 20 caps, eight goals)
Michael Essien (Midfielder, 2002-present, 52 caps, nine goals)
Stephen Appiah (Midfielder, 1995-2010, 67 caps, 14 goals)
Sulley Muntari (Midfielder, 2002-present, 79 caps, 19 goals)
Karim Abdul Razak (Midfielder, Coach, 1975-88, 70 caps, 25 goals)
Tony Yeboah (Striker, 1985-97, 59 caps, 29 goals)
Abedi Pele (Midfielder, 1982-98, 67 caps, 33 goals)
Asamoah Gyan (Forward/Striker, 2003-present, 77 caps, 39 goals)
10. Most Remarkable Matches
Their match against England In Wembley Stadium – 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.
The two times they qualified for the African cup semi-finals four times in a row – Black stars are well-remembered for the two times they qualified for semi-finals in the African cup, four times in a row: 1963 and 1970 as well as 2008 and 2013. This has greatly contributed to them being ranked as the second best team in the history of the African cup, which also allowed them to host the 13th edition of the African cup.
Their victory against USA – On 22 June, 2006, Ghana beat USA 2-1 to qualify for the 2006 FIFA World Cup tournament.
When they reached the quarter finals in 2010 world cup – On 2 July, 2010, the Black Stars struck a draw with Uruguay(1-1) to qualify for the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup.
Thrashing Egypt 6-1 – In a bid to look for world cup qualifiers for 2014, Ghana played against Egypt in Kumasi where Egypt were thrashed 6 – 1. This was so demeaning for Egypt — a team that had actually won the African cup of Nation thrice. According to some soccer analysts, Black stars were too lethal, too strong and too sharp for Egypt’s defense team but the six goals they scored were beyond what anyone had expected.
Individual Team Level Remarkable Achievements
Since the Olympic Games of 1992; the under-23 level has participated in 5 Olympic Games – They were the first African team to win an Olympic medal when they won bronze in 1992.
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, thus, they became 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.
The 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. In addition, they finished as runners-up on two occasions, 1993 and 1997. The under-17 level has also 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 1990’s, where they reached four consecutive finals. They’ve also won the African U-17 Championship two times.