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Sports News of Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Source: goal.com

Unapologetic J.E Sarpong responds to Yahaya's apology demand over marijuana allegations

Veteran Ghanaian coach JE Sarpong is incensed by calls to apologise for perceived derogatory remarks about footballers on the domestic scene.

The former Asante Kotoko and Liberty Professionals man generated controversy in an audacious claim in which he labelled 60 per cent of Ghanaian players as smokers of marijuana.

The allegation attracted the attention of Ghana and Aduana Stars striker Yahaya Mohammed, the second top scorer in the Ghana Premier League (GPL) this season, who lashed out at the tactician and called for an apology.

"When I say about 60 per cent of Ghanaian players smoke weed [marijuana], you [Yahaya] are telling me 'what am I talking about?' Where were you when I started coaching?" Sarpong told SportsworldGhana.

“As someone who has coached on the local scene for close to four decades from the grassroots to the top level, I have dealt with footballers at all levels and I know what I am saying.

“Some even smoke weed and come to play. And after games, some go and smoke it.

“Former Black Stars goalkeeper Robert Mensah those times if you don’t buy him weed, he won’t play and this was even confirmed by the late Ghana FA chairman Ben Koufie who said at one time he had to buy marijuana for Robert Mensah before he kept the post.

“Odame, Oppong - all in Kotoko were smoking marijuana back then so who doesn’t know some Ghanaian players smoke weed?

“There is a weed smoker in every team in the country."

Sarpong, who has also had stints with Premier League sides Ebusua Dwarfs, Great Olympics and Yahaya's present club Aduana, went ahead to reveal personally helping obtain marijuana for a player ahead of a league clash with Hearts of Oak during his time with Olympics.

He was also once assistant coach of the national U23 set-up.

Yahaya, who played for French side Nice in 2007-08, was named in Ghana's 23-man squad for a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against Sudan, which was later postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 32-year-old has also played for Mexican fold Murcielagos and Azam in Tanzania.

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