Africa

Last updated: 6 january, 2010 - 15:41 GMT

Libya 1982 - Ghana come of age

Like many heads of state before him, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi used the Nations Cup to give his political ideology wings – in this case promoting Libya's Green Revolution. His speech in the opening ceremony on March 5 lasted nearly two hours.

Interestingly, Gaddafi's policies made few friends internationally and consequently, the eventual champions Ghana withdrew as relations with Libya deteriorated.

But after air force pilot Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings overthrew President Hilla Limann in a New Year's Eve coup d'etat, the decision was overturned.

The experienced coach Charles Kumi Gyamfi (alias CK) was called upon to head the squad to Libya. He had little time to prepare a side that included a young revelation - 17-year-old Abedi Pele Ayew.

Synthetic pitches were a challenge for most of the teams but Ghana went on to play Gaddafi's Libya in the final and won 7-6 in a post-game shootout following a 1-1 draw after extra time. The Black Stars then established themselves as kings of the continent with a record of four wins.

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