Soccer News of Tuesday, 28 October 2014
AC Milan midfielder Michael Essien has denied refusing to warm up before the kick-off of Ghana's World Cup game against Portugal in Brazil earlier this year. Essien was giving evidence to the Justice Dzamefe-led Presidential Commission of Enquiry via Skype on Monday afternoon from his Milan base.
According to the Commission's spokesperson, Thomas Boakye Agyemang, Essien told the Commission that substitutes need not warm up before matches, but such players only warm up when changes are about to be made.
Essien also denied that former Black Stars head coach Kwesi Appiah had lost the dressing room, noting that player behaviour under both indigenous and expatriate coaches remain the same. He told the Commission that the players co-operated well with Appiah, adding that the players were aiming to play and win.
The former Chelsea and Real Madrid midfielder also noted that appearance fees for the players was not the issue, but rather the broken promises on when the monies were supposed to be paid, which posed a serious challenge.
Essien told the Commission that players play for pride rather than cash when representing Ghana, adding that it is an honour to play for the Black Stars. He mentioned that despite undergoing as many as nine surgeries, he has always made himself available to play for the Black Stars.
The one-hour interaction with the Commission ended with Essien complaining that there were too many people around the team, adding that this should be checked. Essien's testimony is scheduled to be played back on GTV today.