You are here: HomeSports2020 04 15Article 924475

Sports News of Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

1970 AFCON: Is Osei Kofi a ‘lying patriot?’

For decades Reverend Osei Kofi has maintained a figure of a patriot who sacrificed absolutely everything for the country at no cost or better still at the cost of his career.

He has been a campaigner against the ‘monetization’ of the Black Stars and on countless occasions spoke against players and officials for not being patriotic.

Added to that has been a crusade for the state to cater for former Ghanaian players who won trophies for the nation. The narrative has been that these players offered their services to the nation at no cost and but for their selfless acts and decision to put national interest over theirs, would be enjoying better lives than they currently do.

Curses have over the years been rained on the Black Stars with the justification that until the state fulfils past promise to these players, Ghana was never going to win a major trophy.

Not even a GHC1.7million fund for these legends from former President John Mahama could bring them satisfaction as the Osei Kofi-led team of ex-footballers keep blackmailing the state with the trophies they won some 38 years ago.

They claim, unlike the current players who are paid bonuses and per-diems to play for the nation, they enjoyed no such benefits hence deserve special treatment from the nation.

Last year, renowned Ghanaian writer and former Minister of State Elizabeth Ohene made a startling revelation on how just like the squad of 2014, some Black Stars players held the nation to ransom over bonuses.

Chief among them was Osei Kofi who was the skipper of the Black Stars.

Elizabeth Ohene describes the situation as “When the Brazil 2014 Black Star debacle came, my devastation was total.

“Then I realised I was behaving like all those people who see the past as rosy and would make us believe that horrible things only happen in the present,” she wrote in the Daily Graphic. “How could I forget that haggling over money has always been part of Black Stars culture? “How could I forget that back in 1970, a certain widely celebrated Osei Kofi, now better known as Rev. Osei Kofi, led a boycott of Black Stars of the AFCON competition in Sudan? In today’s world, it probably would not have been handled any different from Brazil 2014,” she added.

It took Osei Kofi about nine months to react to that jaw-dropping revelation by the respected writer.

Osei Kofi in an interview with Asempa FM said that contrary to the assertions by Elizabeth Ohene, he tried to dissuade his colleagues from boycotting the 1970 AFCON.

“I was working at National Sports Council when Ibrahim Sunday and the others came to tell me that I should go speak to the authorities because I’m the one they listen to. So I went to speak to the authorities and the feedback I got wasn’t good so I even insulted one of them”.

“By the time I got back, the players had already ganged up and taken a decision. I tried to convince them but it did not work though they went and finished second. Ohene was a young girl then. She did not know what was going on” he said on Asempa FM.

But a Daily Graphic report obtained by ghanaweb.com indicates that the ‘man of God’ was the chief orchestrator of the revolt.

The report which was based on an interview with the Ministerial Secretary for Education and Culture then reveals that Osei Kofi led the decision to boycott the tournament and while some of his mates changed their minds and joined the team, Kofi remained in Ghana and decided not to travel to the tournament.

“Osei Kofi refused to join the Black Stars in camp to prepare for the Khartoum contest with the allegation that the authorities did not show any appreciation for his contributions to the nation for his performances”.

“Mr Richardson said when Osei Kofi left camp, he personally through some individuals sought the help of Mr BK Edusei, Asante Kotoko Director to get him back without success”, excerpts of the news report read.

Below is an image of the report