From the book From the Jaws of Victory: A History of Football’s Nearly Men compiled and edited by Adam Bushby and Rob MacDonald. Copyright © 2020. Published by Halcyon Publishing. All rights reserved.

 

A month before the 2010 World Cup began, FIFA announced the different slogans that would adorn the team buses for each of the 32 participating nations. They ranged from the charmingly cheesy (New Zealand’s “Kickin’ it Kiwi style”) to the vaguely morbid (Slovenia’s “With eleven brave hearts to the end”), but Ghana’s transport rallying cry was particularly unique. “The hope of Africa.” It was the only one that invoked the spirit of not just a single country, but an entire continent. It was the only one that carried as much expectation as it did optimism. 

By the time the tournament kicked off in South Africa, Ghana’s bus slogan felt more like a cruel joke. Then 32nd in…





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