Former Accra Hearts of Oak midfielder Winful Cobbina has released a video to caution and at the same time, appeal to some sections of the Ghanaian media to stop peddling falsehoods about him and strive to have their facts checked before publishing stories that are potentially defamatory.
This is in a swift reaction to a widely reported news on Tuesday by several media outlets in the sporting industry in Ghana, that the F.K Tirana star has been handed a four-month jail term in Albania over documents forgery.
Cobbinah, a footballer of great talent, was granted an Albanian passport by the President of the country, Mr Ilir Rexhep Meta, despite staying in the country for just two years. According to the Albanian laws, a foreigner must live in the country for a minimum of five years before he or she will qualify for nationality switch to acquire an Albanian passport, but the influential Ghanaian footballer seems to have enjoyed a presidential veto – thanks to his great talent on the field of play.
The news of his Albanian passport acquisition came out in on October 21, after he acquired the official documents on September 24, 2020. On Tuesday, November 10, news broke and spread like bush fire in Ghana that the 2017 WAFU Cup winner has been sentenced to four months jail term in Albania over documents forgery.
Reacting to the news, Cobbinah has told the media in a self-made video to check their facts before making publications, and denied knowledge of the said story.
“I have seen some news story going on in Ghana about me, that I have been sentenced to four months in prison. I don’t know, they said I have forged some documents, but believe me, I have no idea about all these things that are happening”, Cobbinah stated.
“I can say all these things are happening because of the passport they gave me, so even if there is something, it has nothing to do with me because I have not done anything. I cannot go to any (government) official here that I want a passport. I came here just to play football and go my way.
It all started when they granted me the passport because you have to stay in the country for like five years before they can grant you a passport, but I am a footballer and I don’t know, maybe because of my exploits (performance) so they decided to give me the passports in just two years. There is nothing I can do. This thing has nothing to do with me so those of you spreading false news in Ghana that I have done this and that, it’s not true, stop it because what you are doing is not fine”, he lamented.
Cobbinah further appealed to those peddling falsehood about him to check their facts and stop it since such publications are defamatory of him, and disturbs his family back home.
“If you writing a story, you should get your facts right because what you are doing, I have a family, they will feel very bad. Because I’m home, just returned from training and all of a sudden I hear they say I’m in prison, it’s not fair, so please stop it. If you want to make a story please check your facts right. It’s not good. Don’t tarnish my image, please.
It is not true, you can see (from this video) I’m at home, nothing has happened. I’m not under pressure, so please, it’s a fake news. Nothing is going on here, there’s no way I’m going to jail, there’s no way I’m doing community service or anything. I’m free, I’m moving, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do”, he clarified.
Watch the video of Winful Cobbinah below, he spoke in Twi: