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Sports News of Monday, 1 June 2020


Tony Baffoe vindicates Abedi Pele in reaction to 'false' Tony Yeboah claims

Former Ghana international Anthony Baffoe has said being named captain for Ghana's final clash with Cote d'Ivoire at the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal came as a surprise.

The ex-defender, now Caf deputy general secretary, was reacting to accusations by team-mate Anthony Yeboah, who said the decision affected the Black Stars as they lost the big game on penalties.

Former Olympique Marseille playmaker Abedi 'Pele' Ayew was captain of the team at the tournament, having taken over the armband from Kwasi Appiah, but a booking in the semi-final win over Nigeria saw Abedi suspended for the final.

Yeboah was assistant captain of the team at the tournament.

''To be honest, I was not expecting to be named Black Stars captain. I remember we had a team meeting and [head coach] Otto Pfister announced that Anthony Baffoe was going to captain the team. This is how it got to me,'' Baffoe, now Caf deputy general secretary, told GTV Sports Plus.

''This is something very interesting I am going to tell you now. People thought Abedi, maybe because we were roommates [influenced the decision]. He [Abedi] never ever mentioned anything about captaincy to me. I can assure you.

''To set the record straight, I saw an interview from Anthony Yeboah when he said that his manager called me to speak to [Ghana's] management that I should hand the captaincy to him. Nobody called me.

"This is not true. This is exactly what I can tell you.

''I remember Alhaji Maikano, the team manager, came to me and said there were rumours going on and I said whoever wanted to take the captaincy should come and take it. I'm not keen on the captaincy."

The final ended 0-0 after extra-time, with the Ivorians running away 11-10 victors in a penalty shootout.

"To be honest I was very surprised [to be snubbed in favour of Baffoe], so it affected us during the game. I was the assistant captain by then, so when the captain [Abedi] was not there, I was supposed to take over,” Yeboah earlier narrated to GTV Sports Plus.

"So my manager from Germany called Tony Baffoe because I brought Tony Baffoe to come and play for the [Ghana] national team. I was advising him and in the German League, I was on top form and captaining Frankfurt.

"My manager called Tony Baffoe and told him to tell the management to give the captain back to Yeboah and Tony Baffoe said 'no'. That was before the game.

“He was not supposed to captain and it was a fact because Kwasi Appiah was the captain and they took the captain for Abedi, so there were a couple of senior players and Tony Baffoe was new in the team.

"Coach Otto Pfister told us before the game that he had a letter from Ghana that Tony Baffoe has to be the captain, and I don’t know where the letter was from, I don’t know whether it was true or not.

“Everybody was shocked but I motivated the players and told them it was not a problem and that we should go and play but you can see it affected the team. It was in my mind throughout the game. I was trying to score in that game and I even hit the bar but it didn’t work and at the end of the day we lost that particular game.”

The 1992 final was Ghana's attempt to win a fifth Afcon title.

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