Sports News of Tuesday, 8 July 2014
Sacked Ghana Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah claims he would have ordered the Brazilian Police to effect the arrest of Ghana star Sulley Muntari for physically assaulting a management committee member of the team.
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, who led Ghana’s delegation to the 2014 World Cup mentioned in an interview that he would have prevailed on the Brazilian police to have Muntari arrested adding that ‘assault is assault, irrespective of who commits it or who its meted out to”.
Two days before the Ghana Portugal match, the AC Milan midfielder was reported to have punched Black Stars management member Moses Armah on the face twice, before the latter responded with a blow that is said to have landed the player on the floor with blood oozing out of his nose.
Elvis Afriyie Ankrah added that as soon as he got to the hotel and was briefed, he asked whether Muntari had been arrested, and the answer was negative and replied with, “why not?
“If I was there at that point in time when the incident occurred, I would have called the Brazilian Police to arrest him immediately, because assault is assault, irrespective of who commits it or who its meted out to”.
“Look, we should stop all this rationalization and treat issues as they are. You may not like me, you may not like Kwesi Nyantakyi, you may not like the FA and some of its members for one or two reasons, but what is wrong is wrong.”
He revealed that at no time did any player disrespect him personally though he admitted to hearing certain angry tantrums being thrown by some of them.
“The situation was so bad that the president wanted to talk to them via Skype and I made the coach aware of that as soon as I arrived in their camp. They had by then finished their technical meeting. One player just looked me in the eye and said ‘dressing room, dressing room,' meaning they would rather listen to him in the dressing room instead of in the conference. That same player also retorted, ‘I hope he doesn’t speak for one hour”.
“I kept telling them, your money will come so just prepare for the match because we are facing practical challenges, but it will arrive. I asked them, so if the money comes finally and you skip the training don’t you know it will eventually affect you in the match. I was shocked with the answer they gave me, ‘we are the players, and we know what to do”.
The former minister added that he believes the entire Black Stars team should be overhauled adding that, it was about time they improved the discipline in the team.
“They failed to look at the bigger picture, because I believe that had we qualified from the group stages, we were going all the way to the finals. But like I said, they failed to see the big picture.”