Former Deputy Sports Minister Vincent Oppong Asamoah has urged the handlers of the various national teams to desist from the acts of pushing personal agenda to satisfy their whimsical interests at the expense the nation, Ghana, and invite into camps players whose performances merit a national team call up.
Speaking in an interview with Sunyani based NimdeƐ FM, the Dormaa West MP narrated his experience of how some officials of the national teams and the Ghana Football Association used to manipulate national team call ups by imposing their own players on coaches and sometimes, some taking money from players before handing them a national team call up.
According to him, Ghana is still unable to win major international trophies because the right players are sometimes denied the chance to play because they refused to pay bribes. He stressed, that some players are given the nod to play even when they don’t deserve just because there are scouts who have come down from Europe and other places to watch them.
“I remember especially our U-20 (men’s team) and the other [teams], you in those times we had management committee members [of these national teams] who owned clubs, taking for example Osei Parma who owned Tema Youth, even Kwasi Nyantakyi [the then FA President] himself also owned Wa All Stars [now Legon Cities FC under new ownership]”, Asamoah told NimdeƐ FM.
“So when it’s time for [player] selection into any of the national teams especially the junior ones, who dare you that you can pick players without picking those of these Management Committee Members? I had one experience when we went to is it Cameroon or Senegal, I was sitting in the stands with some officials and spotted one player who was playing abysmally then I complained as to why he was not being subbed off. One of the them then told me to keep mute because he was a player of this person, and they are scouts who come from Europe to pick players so even if the player is not performing we should allow him to be in the team because someone has come to watch him and if you take him off, the owner may not get the chance to sell his player”, he continued.
He further alleged that players are selected with the interests of individuals including scouts at the expense of the joy of Ghanaians, thereby playing with the hearts of the citizens.
“All these interest parties have their interests for sending the players to the tournaments, the scouts are there to go after their players, then we start playing with the hearts of Ghanaians, meanwhile you [the ordinary Ghanaian] wants them to perform well and bring a cup home, then some people are using the stage to sell their players. So with that experience I had at the U-20, I will not be surprised [that it remains the same as of today].
The Honourable member did not leave the media out of situation, blaming the press for unnecessary hyping of players with personal interests just for them to earn a national team call up despite not deserving it.
“Even the media houses, you also have some. Some of them have intentionally taken some players to promote them just for them to be called into the national teams, so if the player goes and makes one assist then the embellishment goes on, it is there. So if only we will remain faithful to ourselves and do the selection on merits, we will get results”, he stated.
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