2 November 2012

Ghana: When Karl Tuffour Muddies the Waters


The Coach of the senior national team, the Black Stars, Mr. James Akwasi Appiah, recently announced the appointment of striker Asamoah Gyan as the new and substantive Captain of the team. According to the coach, he held wide consultations with all the stakeholders, including the playing body, before arriving at the decision.

So far, none of the players has come out to criticise the decision of the coach, but one of the prolific sports writers in the country, Mr. Karl Tuffour, appears un-amused with the decision Akwasi Appiah has taken. The Daily Graphic yesterday quoted the former GBC radio sports commentator as saying that the promotion of John Mensah as General Captain of the team was an empty role.

"There is no need trying to name a general captain, after naming a substantive captain in the person of Asamoah Gyan. There is nothing like a general captain; something like that existed in the 1970s among soccer teams, but it amounted to nothing," the Daily Graphic quoted the veteran writer as saying on Sports Extra morning programme on TV3.

The dispute as to who should wear the captain's arm band led to Ghana losing the 1992 African Cup of Nations, which was hosted by Senegal. Since then, the Black Stars have never known peace, until Stephen Appiah took over, and managed to bring unity into the team.

Prior to this announcement by Akwasi Appiah, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) had come out to tell the public the order of seniority in the national team. It was based on this that some of the football enthusiasts were not comfortable when the announcement about the appointment of a new captain was made.

But since the manager himself assured the nation that wide consultations were taken before the decision was made public, many hearts were set at ease.

Unfortunately, Karl Tuffour has muddied the waters with the statement being attributed to him. No matter the level of discussions the GFA and the coach had with John Mensah, before the appointment of Asamoah Gyan, he is going to view the decision as a complete act of demotion, after reading Karl Tuffour's position on the issue.

This could bring friction into the team, as we experienced during the days of Akwasi Appiah himself, and Abedi Pele. The Chronicle is, therefore, urging the GFA to move fast on the issue, especially, as South Africa 2013 approaches, to ensure a cordial relationship between all the players.

The Chronicle is also urging football fans and commentators, especially Mr. Karl Tuffour, to be mindful of the comments they make, regarding the captaincy of the team.

As a seasoned sports writer and commentator, we expect him to tread cautiously with some of these issues, no matter how justified it may sound. Like Kwabena Yeboah, people listen to him a lot when it comes to football matters, and Karl Tuffour must not abuse this privilege.

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