The protracted maritime boundary dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast, which seemed to have been settled by last Saturday’s International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruling, has taken an unexpected turn.
Sources say the Ivorian government plans to appeal the maritime tribunal to have the case moved from the courtroom to the football pitch. An Ivorian government official said settling the dispute with a football match between the two countries will provide all the “drama and excitement” that was absent from the ITLOS proceedings.
Under the new Ivorian proposal, Ghana and its western neighbour will withdraw the case from the international tribunal, shifting the arguments from a courtroom in Hamburg to a football pitch in West Africa. Players of the Black Stars and Les Elephants will take on the mantle of settling the dispute between the two countries via a 90 minute football match.
The Ivorian national football team, who defeated their Ghanaian counterpart in finals of the 2015 African Cup of Nations, are confident of overturning the ITLOS on the football pitch.
The Black Stars, on the other hand, are a little less enthusiastic about the Ivorian proposal, claiming that as many as 4 players have suddenly left the team camp due to a stomach upset.
The Ghana government has outrightly dismissed the Ivorian proposal, accusing their neighbours of “kicking up a fuss.”