This year’s FIFA world cup has begun. The whole world is watching – and this is the opportunity to also include people who have hardly felt involved. Ghana’s leading media organization, Global Media Alliance Broadcast Company (GMABC) owners of Happy 98.9 FM, e.tv Ghana and the YFM Triangle brand (Y107.9 FM- Accra, Y102.5 FM- Kumasi and Y97.9 FM- Takoradi) has taken the responsibility not only make the world cup accessible to persons with disabilities, but to actually make them part of the event.
On the broadcast’s sports channel, e.tv Ghana invited Eric Kissi, President of the Ghana Blind Sports Association to review the games so far and to talk about the match between Belgium and Canada on Wednesday.
Kissi, visually impaired himself on the show thanked GMABC for inviting him. “They have been innovative and think about all persons, including persons with disabilities”, he says about the station.
He continued to praise the fact that the GMABC brand works together with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and that they really practice accessibility in their work. In his opinion, accessibility is not just about the structure of buildings. It includes all parts of accessibility, like making sure that those that cannot see fully participate in the games and those that cannot hear also benefit from it.
There is a difference between trying to make life easier for people with disabilities and actually making them part of something. This is what GMABC values and pays attention to: Not only did they organize interpreters across the stations for the games to make deaf people able to experience the world cup as well. They also make sure that these marginal groups are represented in events and discussions about the matches. People with disabilities have a voice and it is important that voice is heard by the world. “It is a plus to you and I say congratulations to that”, Kissi says.
On the show, the President of the Ghana Blind Sports Association commented on the past couple of matches and the surprises that they have brought us. In his opinion, the games show that it does not play a role how big or how much of a football nation a country is, and that you can never rely on anything like that.
Underrated countries, where you will probably already be expecting a defeat, may be surprising you. We have already seen this phenomenon several times in this year’s world cup: Japan scored Germany, Saudi Arabia won against Argentina, and Morocco defeated Croatia. “What we should be expecting is not about surprises, but we should all understand the fact that now, football is no respecter of teams in respective of the country you are coming from or the team you are playing”, he says.
Kissi claims that there are going to be many more surprises, and he also believes that Ghana has a chance at winning against Portugal. In his opinion, this would not even be a surprise. ”It is a battle between elephants”, he says.
There is one match that Eric Kissi excludes from this theory. For yesterday’s game of Belgium against Canada, he predicted the win of the “red devils”. He explained that pride plays a huge role in football, and that Belgium could use its victory against England in 2018 to boost their confidence level. His theory appears to be pretty solid – his statement from the show stays undefeated.