NEWS
Wednesday July 2 2014
Essien responds to Ghana chaos

Milan midfielder Michael Essien released a statement on Ghana’s controversial World Cup campaign.

It was beset by problems, as Kevin Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari were thrown out of the squad on the eve of a decisive match against Portugal and Boateng claims there was financial mismanagement and “amateurish” organisation.

Coach Kwesi Appiah then told media that Essien refused to take part in a warm-up session ahead of that game, so would have to face punishment.

“I have monitored with great concern, the raging public and media debate about the reasons for the Ghana Black Stars’ early exit from the ongoing tournament in Brazil,” declared Essien in a statement on Citi FM radio.

“Like any other patriotic Ghanaian, and as an avid supporter and member of the Ghana Black Stars, I am deeply embarrassed and devastated by the team’s failure to make, at least, Semi Final berth we had publicly promised the good people of Ghana ahead of our departure from Accra.

“While I will be the first to concede that not everything went according to plan before and during our participation in the tournament, I believe that destructive and vicious attacks and counter attacks on individual members of the team as well as the technical and management team are not the solution to the Ghana Black Stars’ problems.

“Instead, we must all embrace peace and seek a lasting solution for the team’s problems through decent dialogue.

“I believe that building genuine cooperation among all stakeholders in Ghana Football remains essential for promotion of trust, transparency, and good governance to ensure prosperity of the senior national team, as well as the sport in general.

“While I believe we desperately need a peaceful resolution of all the issues agitating our minds and the minds of all fans of the team, I hold the view that we can investigate and resolve these issues without further destroying the team.

“I therefore urge all of us who continue to make public comments on the team’s painful experience of leaving the tournament as early as we did with just a point[from a possible nine points] to be circumspect in our discourse.

“I also urge all involved to please remain calm and allow state authorities interested in investigating the issues at stake to do their jobs without any interference and come out with the truth.

“It is only then that we can learn from our mistakes and reform all aspects of our preparations for major football tournaments in order to restore the pride and glory of Ghana Football. I strongly believe that it is absolutely the right thing to do for the good and prosperity of Ghana Football.

“It is in keeping with the positions stated above that I have decided to refrain from responding to the GFA’s allegation that I had displayed acts of indiscipline before and during the Portugal game in Brazil.

“In deciding not to respond to the allegations, I am convinced that in the fullness of time, all the facts surrounding the entire episode will become public for the good people of Ghana to judge my guilt or otherwise.

“Meanwhile, I wish to thank colleague members of the Black Stars and indeed all Ghana Black Stars supporters around the world, for their continuous support for the team, despite the team’s regrettable outing in Brazil.

“We may have failed this year, but the people of Ghana must continue to believe in the Black Stars.”

Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!

FOOTBALL ITALIA RELATED NEWS

TODAY'S FRONT PAGES