“Azonto, move over, a new dance flavour is coming”. That is what is expected to happen in less than one week when the Black Stars celebrate their first goal at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
When defender John Paintsil made the disclosure during a radio interview, he was initially reluctant to give details of the dance except to say that it was called Mmonko, a Twi name for the sea food delicacy, shrimp.
Since the revelation, some popular dance enthusiasts have been at it trying to guess the form that Mmonko would take and the likely rhythm that would accompany it.
“Is it going to be a national sequel to the famous Kangaroo dance spearheaded by Michael Essien during the 2008 African Cup of Nations held in Ghana, or would it rather take after the new world-popular Azonto?”, they ask.
At this stage, it is also unclear who will be leading the dance since out of the three well-known dance guys, Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan, only Asamoah has remained in the team for AFCON 2013.
For many years, dance skits have been very popular among footballers when they score a goal at important matches. Especially since Camerounian striker Roger Milla did a waist gyrating jig with a corner post flag in celebration of his 1990 World Cup goal, victory dances have been a common ingredient of African football.
With many Africans now playing in European and foreign leagues, the practice seems to have been carried on to Europe and beyond and players of all races have latched on to it.
It has been documented that in association football, a goal celebration may be performed by the goalscorer (most notably), his or her teammates, the manager or coaching staff and/or the supporters of the team. Whilst referring to the celebration of a goal in general, the term can also be applied to specific actions, such as a player removing his shirt or performing a somersault
Unfortunately not all goal celebrations have ended on a victorious note. According to the rules of the game, “While it is permissible for a player to demonstrate his joy when a goal has been scored, the celebration must not be excessive.
In recent seasons, FIFA have attempted to crack down on some of the more enthusiastic celebrations. If a player incites the crowd and/or takes his shirt off after scoring a goal he is likely to get booked by the referee. However, some players get around this rule by pulling the hem of their shirts over the head, without taking the shirt off entirely.
No matter the form that the yet -to -be-unveiled Mmonko Black Stars victory dance would take, it is most unlikely that it would attract any sanctions. Ghanaian dances are known to attract only cheers.
Source: Nanabanyin Dadson
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