Soccer News of Friday, 30 March 2007
Accra, March 30, GNA - Abedi "Pele" Ayew, Chairman and Founder of Nania FC, a Division One football side has broken the silence over his alleged involvement in 'a match of convenience' played against Okwawu United in the just ended National Middle League. Nania FC trounced Okwahu United 31-0 at the Sekondi Gyandu Park. Addressing a press conference in Accra on Friday, Pele as he is popularly known in sporting circles categorically denied that the match against Okwawu United, was fixed.He said that there was no form of monetary deal before, during and after the game and expressed surprise at the allegations. "I've never met or spoken to the Chairman of Okwawu United to arrange a match convenience". According to ex-Black Stars skip per, he is at a loss as to how people who once described him a stingy man could turn around to level such an accusation against him. "As an ex footballer, I will never involve myself in a way that will damage my hard won reputation. "I feel sad by the whole incident and the meaning being read into it, because I'm totally innocent". Abedi explained that the game was played in a competitive manner from the first half till the early stages of the second half when his opponents were hit by injuries. He explained that his opponents had then exhausted their substitution list and also had two of their goalkeepers injured compelling the team to use a player in the goal post instead. Ayew added that any team with such a numerical disadvantage is likely to lose by such a wide margin. "With seven players playing against the might of eleven players, the score line could have even been 40. "If a Club has been able to score 29 unanswered goals I don't see why we could not score 31, we deserve the victory because we worked hard for it, even though I never anticipated such a score line". He added that "History and miracles are made each day and our victory could be one of those deeds". Ayew said he is ready to submit himself to any form of investigations by the Ghana Football Association (GFA) if that will bring out the truth. When he was asked whether the unimaginable score line and the allegations could dent his international reputation, the Maestro said "Maradona is having problems with drugs but that does not change anything about him and his successes' and so I don't think this can affect me as an individual".