Our History

HISTORY OF THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION:

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) was formed in 1957, affiliated to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and FIFA. The Ghana Football Association succeeded The Gold Coast Football Association which was founded in 1920, and one of the oldest football associations in Africa.

The Ghana national football team represents the football association, and has done so since the 1950s. Prior to 1957, the team played as the Gold Coast. The team is nicknamed the Black Stars after the Black Star of Africa in the flag of Ghana.

Cape Coast and Accra were the first cities in sub-Saharan Africa to host formal leagues in the Gold Coast.

As the popularity of the game grew, other amateur clubs were formed along the coast, including: Accra Hearts of Oak, Accra Standfast, Cape Coast Venomous Vipers, Cape Coast Mysterious Dwarfs, Sekondi Hasaacas, and Sekondi Eleven Wise. Some of Africa’s most prestigious clubs in Accra Hearts of Oak, and Kumasi Asante Kotoko. Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Ghana most successful team with 24 league titles and winners of the African Clubs Championships in 1970 and 1983 (reformed as the CAF Champions League in 1997). Accra Hearts of Oak, Ghana’s most recent winner of the CAF Champions League in 2000, are Ghana second most successful side with an impressive 20 league titles.

INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS:

In 1963 Ghana won the bid to host the 5th Africa Cup of Nations. Charles Kumi Gyamfi who became coach in 1961, won successive African Cup of Nations titles, in 1963 and 1965. After the triumph in 1965 in Tunisia, Ghana hosted and won the 13th edition of the African Cup of Nations in 1978, and four years later, won it again in Tripoli, Libya. Their domination of this tournament earned Ghana the nicknames “the Black Stars of Africa” in the 1960s. Ghana have won the African Cup of Nations four times (in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982), and have been runners-up five times (in 1968, 1970, 1992, 2010, and 2015), making Ghana the third most successful team in the competitions history. One behind Cameroon on 5. And behind to Egypt, who have won a record seven titles.

History was made in August 1962 at the Accra Sports Stadium, where the Ghana played Spanish giants Real Madrid in an enthralling 3–3 draw. Featuring Pukas, De-Stefano, and Francisco “Paco” Gento. Three of the greatest players in Real Madrid’s history. Real Madrid were at the time Spanish champions, and former European champions and Intercontinental champions.

Ghana have enjoyed tremendous success at the youth level, winning the FIFA World Under-17 title twice and finishing runners-up twice. Ghana became the 1st African Country to win a medal in Football at the 1992 Summer Olympics. And in 2009, Ghana became the first African Country to win the U-20 FIFA World Cup by defeating favourites Brazil.

Ghana, despite its history at youth level have only made impact on the Senior and World level most notably in the 2006 World Cup in Germany, reaching the last eight being agonisingly knocked out on penalties to eventual 4th placed Uruguay.

The Women’s game in Ghana has made strides as well having participated in two World Cup tournaments and the Olympic Games. They finished runners-up to Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations series 2006. And in 2018 led by Yussif Basigi Ghana defeated Ivory Coast in to win the maiden WAFU Women Cup tournament held in Abidjan.

PLAYERS:

Ghana have a rich history in World Football having being crowned U17 & U20’s World Champions an unprecedented 3 times for a nation from the African continent. However Ghana are now making an impact at Youth and Senior Level. But despite only making impact on the World & Senior level on 3 occasions, Ghana have graced and earthed some of Europe’s finest and decorated football players.

Players such as Abedi Pele, Stephen Appiah, Samuel Kuffour, Michael Essien, and Tony Yeboah. And the diaspora, in Jerome Boateng, and Marcel Desailly. Both world cup winners with Germany and France respectively.

Abedi Ayew, nicknamed Abedi Pele for his mercurial talent, and success with European Champions Marseille in 1990. Stephen Appiah and Samuel Kuffour, incredible leaders, both having played for some of Europe’s finest clubs in Juventus and Bayern Munich. Michael Essien, a mainstay, and a part of the successful Chelsea team in the noughties. And Tony Yeboah, a phenomenal goal-scorer in England and Germany. And the diaspora, to name a two in Jerome Boateng, and Marcel Desailly. Both at their peak for Bayern and AC Milan the best defenders in the world.

The Historic Timeline

1957: Ghana was the first African country to become independent in 1957. Under the government of Ghana’s first President, Kwame Nkrumah, football underwent a major development. Nkrumah used soccer as a tool to preach African pride. Ohene Djan who oversaw some of the great success Ghana had in the 60’s was elected as General Secretary of the Football Association by the clubs. And the Ghana Amateur Football Association was officially founded.

1958: Hearts of Oak defeat a Santos team led by Pele 1-0 in Accra. The now President Ohene Djan, strategically affiliated the Association with FIFA in 1958 and the CAF in 1960. Djan was instrumental in securing sponsorship for the first Ghanaian FA cup competition (from a pharmaceutical firm, Merrs R.R. Harding and Company).

1959: In 1959, Ohene Djan succeeded again in organizing the first national league, before Ghana became a republic on 1 July 1960.

1962: 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.

1963: As tournament host. Ghana won the 5th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, defeating Sudan 3-0 in the final in Accra.

1964: Current AFCON holders. Ghana topped the group with Italy, Argentina & Japan at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo.  Ghana were eventual quarter-finalists.

1965: After the 1963 AFCON triumph, and now a dominate force in African Football. Ghana went ahead again to successfully defend and retain the trophy in Tunisia in 1965.

1966: Ghana were the current AFCON champions. Back to back champions in 1963 and 1965. But in 1966 Ghana chose to boycott and not to go to the World Cup in England ‘66. Gordan Banks (of the eventual winners England) who once had 4 put past him by Osei Kofi, the “One Man Symphony Orchestra”, once described him as equal to the legendary George Best.

1968: The Olympic Games in 1976. Ghana with a strong side, following a draw with El Salvador failed to qualify out the group with Israel and Hungry.

1970: In a period of success, Asante Kotoko were crowned champions of Africa in winning the CAF Champions League. Asante Kotoko were runners up in the tournament years before in 1967, and in the following years of 1971 and 1973.

1971: Ibrahim Sunday was crowned African Player of the Year

1972: The Olympic Games in 1972. In what would be our last appearance in the competition for 20 years, Ghana failed to qualify out of a strong group with Colombia, Germany and Poland.

1976: The Olympic Games in 1976, Ghana withdrew on political grounds boycotting the games in protest of the participation of New Zealand. Siting there sporting links with apartheid South Africa.

1978: Ghana hosted and won the 13th Africa Cup of Nations in 1978. In a year Abdul Razak was crowned African Player of the Year.

1980: The Olympic Games in 1980, Ghana withdrew again on political grounds. Joining the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics. Based on the Soviets invasion of Afghanistan.

1982: Ghana regained the 1982 AFCON in Tripoli, Libya. Becoming at the time most successful team in the contest’s history

1983: Asante Kotoko, runners up the previous year became Champions of Africa in winning the CAF Champions League in 1983 defeating Al Ahly of Egypt

1991: Abedi Pele was crowned the 1991 African Player of the Year. Ghana have enjoyed tremendous success at the youth level, and burst onto the world stage at youth level in winning the U17’s FIFA World Cup defeating Spain by a lone goal, scored by Emmanuel Duah.

1992: Abedi Pele was crowned African Player of the Year for the 2nd consecutive year. Ahead of George Weah and Tony Yeboah. And Ghana became the first African country to win an Olympic medal in Football in the 1992 games in Barcelona when they won bronze.

1993: Abedi Pele was crowned African Player of the Year for the 3rd year in a row. And The Black Satellites. The U17’s and U20’s were beaten finalists in the FIFA World Youth Championship. The Under U17’s were crowned champions of Africa and the world after winning the African Youth Championship 2-0 against Cameroon.

In 1952, the Government of the Gold Coast enacted Ordinance 14, which established the Gold Coast Amateur Sports Council, and granted the Government of the Gold Coast the legal authority to control all amateur Associations, including Football. Through the 1993 Winneba Declaration. The formation of professional teams allowed clubs to be incorporated under the companies code (Act 179, 1963) as Limited Liability Companies.

1995: The Under U17’s were crowned champions of Africa and the world after winning the African Youth Championship 3-1 against Burkina Faso. And following in the footsteps of the school of 1991. Ghana won the FIFA World Cup in Ecuador after beating Brazil 3-2 in the final to lift the trophy for the 2nd time. The goals coming from Baba Sule, Abu Iddrisu and Emmanuel Bentil.

1997: In reaching our fourth consecutive finals in the competition. The Black Satellites (U17’s) were beaten finalists to Brazil in the FIFA World Youth Championship.

1999: The Under U17’s and 20’s were crowned champions of Africa after winning the African Youth Championship over Nigeria 3-1 and 2-0 respectively. And Ghana Black Queens qualify for its 1st FIFA World Cup in US.

2000: Hearts of Oak were crown champions of Africa after defeating Espérance of Tunisia in the CAF Champions League final.

2001: The Black Satellites (U20’s) were beaten finalists in the FIFA World Youth Championship in Malaysia to record holders Argentina (3-0). In the same year we were runners up in the African Youth Championship in a 2-0 defeat to Angola.

2002: Alberta Sackey was crowned the 2002 African Women’s Player of the Year.

2003: Adjoa Bayor was crowned the 2003 African Women’s Player of the Year. And The Ghana Black Queens participated in the FIFA World Cup in US.

2004: The 2004 CAF Confederation Cup was the first edition of the newly created CAF Confederation Cup. Hearts of Oak were winners after defeating rivals Asante Kotoko 8-7 on penalties in the final after the two legged final ended 2-2

2006: Ghana participated in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Eliminated by Brazil in the 2nd round.

2007: The Ghana Black Queens participated in the FIFA World Cup in China.

2009: 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’s were crown champions of Africa after winning the African Youth Championship as hosts in a 2-0 win over Cameroon.

2010: Ghana participates in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Reaching the quarter finals. Along with Cameroon and Senegal, the furthest an African side has reached in the tournament. Ghana are eliminated in the quarter finals by Uruguay in a Penalty Shoot-out. The game infamously known as ‘The hand of Suarez/God’.

2013: The Under 20’s were runners up in the African Youth Championship in a defeat to Egypt on a penalties.

2014: Ghana participates in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. But are eliminated in the group stage with a group featuring Germany.

2017: The Black Starlets participate in the 2017 U20 World Cup

2018: The Black Queens defeat Ivory Coast to win the maiden WAFU Women Cup tournament held in Abidjan.

2021: The Black Satellites defeat Uganda at the U20 AFCON’s to win their 1st title in 12 years.

Presidents:

1957 – 60: Mr. Ohene Djan

1960 – 66: Mr. H. P. Nyametei

1966 – 70: Nana Fredua Mensah

1970 – 72: Mr. Henry Djaba

1972 – 73: Maj. Gen. R. E. A. Kotei

1973 – 1975: Col. Brew-Graves

1975 – 77: Maj. George Lamptey

1977 – 79: Maj. D. O. Asiamah

1979: Mr. I. R. Aboagye

1979 – 80: Mr. Samuel Okyere

1980 – 82: Mr. S. K. Mainoo

1982 – 83: Mr. Zac Bentum

1983 – 84: Mr. L. Ackah-Yensu

1984: Mr. L. T. K. Caesar

1984 – 86: Mr. E. O. Teye

1986 – 90: Mr. Samuel Okyere

1990 – 92: Mr. Awuah Nyamekye

1992 – 93: Mr. Joe Lartey

1993 – 97: Mr. Samuel Brew-Butler

1997 – 2001: Alhaji M. N. D. Jawula

2001 – 03: Mr. Ben Koufie

2004 – 05: Dr. N. Nyaho-Tamakloe

2005 – 2019: Mr. Kwesi Nyantakyi

2019 – Present: Mr. Kurt Okraku