Football has rules, just as funny football rules that are also annoying. If you group up in any Ghanaian community and loved the game as a child, you will surely be aware of the 14 annoying but funny football rules made in Ghana for Africa.
These rules although old and never part of the actual rules of the beautiful game, served their purpose, made us all annoyed at a point in time as kids, and made others feel they were the bosses when the only football available in the community happens to be his.
In this write-up, we will expand the 14 annoying but funny football rules made in Ghana for Africa based on personal experiences in Ghana.
Rules of football when we were kids
1. The fat kid was always the goalkeeper.
It may sound strange, but the truth is, when we were kids, we often positioned the fat boy in the group of boys in the goalposts as the goalkeeper. The mindset was often simple “Since he is fat, he will be big enough to occupy the goal post. Sadly, most of the fat guys were so dull and so we lost many games and conceded many avoidable goals.
The second annoying but funny football rule made in Ghana for Africa was that “The owner of the ball decides who plays”. Can you imagine? The owner of the ball will choose all those who qualify to play the football or the match irrespective of whether you are going to be a member of his squad or not. The first qualification huddle is to be listed as one of those who will play. If you are not listed or added, that day, you will not touch the ball with your foot, not even if the ball goes out of play.
Again, the one who is not picked was responsible to fetch the ball when it got out of play in order to play the next game. This in itself is an honour because the owner of the football may say something like ” Herh! you, if you pick the ball from the bush each time it goes out, I will permit you to come and play”.
When this is said, all those who are fun of kicking the ball into the bush become potential targets because the owner is worried the ball may get spoilt soon. It is time to be shown the owner’s red card, so you go and sit down. If you are scoring goals against the owner’s team, he has the power to substitute you no on behalf of the other team and no one can challenge him.
4. When the owner of the ball got annoyed, it’s game over. This was one of the feared rules, especially if the team the owner belongs to is losing the game or they want to substitute him. In fact, this guy is untouchable.
If the football was bought with the contributions of all the players but he contributed so much to the buying of the ball, substitute him and he will go and bring a blade to take his portion of the ball when it enters the bush. It is game over. You all screwed up. You can play what he left you guys.
Another funny football rule made in Ghana for Africa is this, when you get hurt during the game, hide it and keep playing or you will be substituted. Hence, when you hit your toes against a stone and you noticed blood, you quickly cover the area of injury with sand as a form of first aid, and play continues. Don’t show the pain before others are waiting to play.
If you are the Ronaldo or Messi kind of play, you can’t dribble the owner of the ball too much. No it is not permitted because this may lead him to stop the game by taking away his ball. You must pretend to be ineffective in dribbling and lose the ball to him if you want to have another touch.
There were no offsides, and there was no referee. Fouls are hardly determined, and every goal is a goal. Because of this, the strikers of the opposing team share the goal post area with the goalkeeper.
8. Another of the funny football rules is this. There is foul only if you fell and plenty of dust goes up. The community backyard football games hardly see the whistling of fouls because there are already no referees. But in instances where a tackle leads to massive dust, that may be given as fouls.
9. The two best players can not play in the same team. It will never be permitted by the players waiting to be added to any of the teams present, hence till date when boys meet on the field to play football. Two senior players who are very good are given the chance to call out players to join them in their respective teams. This ensures fairness and balanced team strength. The leaders challenge themselves and pick others they think are good enough for their teams.
10. If you are chosen last, it means you are not good and you will remain in defense. It is assumed that those selected last are of less value to the team in terms of attacking and striking for goals. Hence, the last player to choose often does the dirty work of defending the team.
11. The owner of the football being play is expecting to be rewarded with a win and nothing else. Often, he will be one of those who picks players and the first to do that. The best player is always on the same team as the owner of the ball. If this does not happen, the football game may be delayed or we may not even play at all.
12. To distinguish the two teams, one of the teams pulls off their shirts. This is done till today, just like the others rules discussed above. But in recent times, both teams may start the game, but once a team concedes, its players must remove their shirts and play bare-chested.
13.There is always a house in which when the ball fell in there, we knew the game is over. If the ball is kicked in that direction, everyone chases after it. In fact, it has to be picked and thrown out before the woman or man in the house lays hands on it. If she does, you may have to sweep the entire house before it is given to you or else it ends up under her pillow. It is game over.
14. The game will only be over when it is dark and we could barely see the ball. Yes, especially if the team the owner of the ball is in is losing. However, just in case his team is winning, expect the game to end all of a sudden if they equalize, score one more, or are leading by one and the game is intense and competitive.
After the game, come moments for all players to disperse in groups. Teasing one another takes centre stage until we get home. That in itself is another trouble because you have to explain to your parents why you went to play football. For sure, you will face another punishment from your parents.
What do you remember football when you were just a kid apart from the 14 annoying but funny football rules made in Ghana for Africa described above? Leave a comment. Sorry if you are not one of us as described above, you must belong to Indomie Generation.