There is so much joy in the camp of Accra Hearts of Oak right now, and it’s not hard to understand why.
They’ve just bagged their first trophies in more than a decade, as champions of the 2020/21 Ghana Premier League and FA Cup, and in such remarkable style that it’s hard to argue they aren’t good value for any of this success.
What Samuel Boadu’s charges probably don’t deserve, though, are the trophies themselves. In their own unique ways, both are ugly, even if Hearts — on the occasion of their first domestic Double since 2000 — can’t seem to get their hands off them and are quite intent on making a grand show of a fine haul.
Consider, first, the Premier League trophy. If it was meant by design to be a cup, in the strictest sense of the word, it didn’t quite turn out as one — even if that puts it in good company alongside the Fifa World Cup trophy, which is itself a ‘cup’ only in name and not in looks (if you get my drift).
Even worse, Ghana’s league title is hardly original in appearance, bearing a striking semblance to the Greek Football Cup trophy that our own Baba Rahman won on loan with PAOK last season; given that the former was only first handed out at the end of the 2017 campaign, it’s quite obvious which the replica is.
The FA Cup trophy, on the other hand, is certainly one of a kind — just not the most eye-pleasing kind.
It looks rather unwieldy, and not so creatively built, the way that gold-coloured ball is propped up by three silvery bars which bend outwards as they rise to an unusual height. The trophy feels almost too hollow, far too inadequate, for the purpose it serves.
All of this probably sounds trivial, but it isn’t. The most famous trophies in the sport — think of those awarded to winners of the Premier League, FA Cup, Uefa Champions League, and even the World Cup (it still isn’t a ‘cup’, though) — are iconic on their own, rich in aesthetics and in meaning, and easily recognisable even if only displayed in silhouette form.
Those aren’t boxes ticked by the pieces of silverware Hearts have freshly picked up (the medals, trust me, aren’t much better), and for all their brilliance, they — and any winners of either competition who have been rewarded with, or would be rewarded with, same — deserve much better from the Ghana Football Association.