Any sports fan will tell you of the tears of frustration and joy that come with supporting any team. If your team is a bit prone to, shall, we say, losing, it is tempting to try and find some excuse to explain their failures; a biased referee, poor management and lack of cash to buy the best players are among the more common ones.
Some teams, however, are a bit more creative than others in the “excuse” stakes Ghana seems to excel in this area, if not exactly on the field, as they have come up with the excuse to beat them all – witchcraft.
Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic has revealed deeply seriously divisions within his squad, saying some players used witchcraft (not against their opponents which you might understand, if not exactly condone) but against their own team-mates.
Stevanovic, the team’s Serbian coach made the claim in a leaked report on the Black Stars’ failure at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, where they were beaten by eventual winners Zambia in the semi-finals.
“We all need to help in changing some players’ mentality about using “black power” to destroy themselves, and also make sure we instil discipline and respect for each other,” the coach complained.
Kwesi Nyantakyi GFA President was less than impressed by the national sides behaviour and commented on Stevanoic’s report…
“I have learnt great lessons from African football and also about Ghanaian players’ behaviour on and off the field.”
The coach did not name any specific players in the part of the report which referred to the use of magic and the GFA is refusing to comment on the matter, claiming it does not discuss any issues which arise from leaked documents. Nevertheless, Sarfo Gyami, who was a member of the Ghana side at the 1992 Nations Cup, is not at all surprise by what many would consider to be rather unusual behaviour from a sporting body;
“It has always happened, but players have used it to protect themselves and normally in search of luck…I have never heard of a situation when players have used it against their own colleagues. That is a very bad situation.”
Ironically Ghana’s team portrayed a united image during the Nations Cup, for example, videos and pictures were sent from the camp in Franceville showing the team’s players holding late night prayer and singing sessions which were supposed to illustrate their strong bond. Unfortunately, this does not seem to have been an accurate portrayal of events and both Stevanovic and GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi say there were deep divisions. It seems egos have been getting in the way of the beautiful game and Kwesi Nyantakyi has already told a press conference that;
“During the competition we observed that some players played to achieve personal fame, prominence and excellence to the detriment of the team… We also had complaints from some senior players, accusing some of the junior ones of disrespect.”
Goran Stevanovic isn’t “singing any more” either as his contract is under review and the GFA will be make making a decision about his future in his current role in a couple of weeks.
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