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Soccer News of Thursday, 14 February 2008

Source: John Mensah

John Mensah Statement On Allegation Concerning Captain Stephen Appiah

I have heard with utter dismay an allegation from some radio stations in Ghana today that I have protested against bonuses to be given Captain Stephen Appiah.

I wish to state here that these pronouncements on the radio stations are not only totally false but they are malicious and wicked, calculated to bring my name into disrepute.

In the absence of Captain Stephen I have led the team on and off the pitch and on all occasions I have contacted my senior on taking decisions for the team.

It is on record that during this period, together with all my colleagues, we have argued for all players to be treated equally be it first team players or not.

Captain Stephen is an integral part of the team and has not been excluded in all the talks with officials concerning bonuses and other matters.

So I find it shocking that someone would peddle these lies in an attempt to make me look bad in the eyes of the public.

This is the second of lies peddled to try to make me look bad as it was published elsewhere that I said that there are problems in the national team.

I see these as attempts to spoil my good name but I can assure the perpetrators that Ghanaians know falsehood when they see it and have rejected these comments

We have had situations of rumours like these in the past that affected our national team negatively.

At this time that the Black Stars are enjoying the goodwill of the footballing world there are a few who are attempting to foment imaginary tension among the players and I know Ghanaians will out rightly reject these attempts as all the players are united.

I have always opened my doors to the media and I expect that the least these radio stations could have done was to cross check the story with me.

If they have other motives I ask them to stop immediately in the interest of mother Ghana and the progress of football our country.

Captain Stephen Appiah, who has helped me in many stages of my career, knows that this can never be me and I would not do anything of such nature to any player let alone my own brother.

I urge all to unite behind the Black Stars as we are now Africa's highest ranked team on the Fifa ranking and we will win more to bring glory to our motherland in future.

Thank you.

Signed: John Mensah (Deputy captain, Black Stars)