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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Columnist: GHANAsoccernet.com

Feature: Anger is a letter short of danger; Brimah should know better

Just like that, my respect for Asamoah Gyan just went through the roof. The Ghanaian striker has not been in the good books of many after his failures on the biggest stages have caused deep heart breaks.

Whether it was fluffing chances in the 2008 African Championship, missing crucial penalties at the 2012 edition to Zambia and Uruguay at the 2010 World Cup respectively, Gyan has been a polarizing figure. A figure who has been abused beyond measure to the point his mother has been incessantly bashed until her death.

The closest thing to a response Gyan gave was an attempt to leave the Stars camp midway through the 2008 tournament until he was convinced by superior powers to stay on.

Asamoah does have his demons but has demonstrated he is a player worth emulating aside his historic number of goals for the Black Stars. However, being a role model is one thing and another thing being emulated. Unfortunately for the Stars, Gyan’s way off dealing with criticisms hasn’t rubbed off some his teammates especially Razak Brimah.

Ghana goalkeeper Brimah launched a profane laced stinging tirade at natives of the West African nation for criticizing his performances in the ongoing tournament before quickly apologizing for his comments. Clearly, Brimah wasn’t satisfied with “Ewurade”, Allah or God steering the Black Stars to a controversy free campaign.

Rather, he wanted Ghana’s national football team to go back to its old ways as pouting, spoilt, money grabbing dandies. So he went ahead to veer the Stars incident-free ride to the latter stages of the AFCON tournament by directing scathing sensitive words to Ghanaians on social media.

Obviously, Brimah is not aware of the wise saying in the headline above nor is he aware of another saying, a wise man once said nothing. To be honest, Ghana’s number one shot stopper (a title he doesn’t deserve) had absolutely no right in this world and beyond to lash out the way he did.

Until now, expatriates like Kevin-Prince Boateng and Coach Avram Grant were the ones synonymous with such goof ball acts with the latter throwing some “BS” of his own at Ghanaians before his inevitable departure after the tournament. Ghana has not won the AFCON title or any major since 1982 but has consistently been one of Africa’s best sides producing great players over the years including the father of Ghana’s two goal scorers in the quarter final win over DR Congo.

Often football’s forgotten men, goalkeepers have a high ranking place in the nation’s football history. To think starting Goalie of Accra Hearts of Oak’s legendary Champions League winning side Sammy Adjei couldn’t get between the post just a decade ago, shows how deep the position is.

To be honest, Brimah is lucky to be in post for the Stars and as a matter of fact, he is lucky to even get invited. A country like Ghana does not invite a bench player plying his trade in the Spanish lower tier for a tournament like the AFCON. Appropriately, the Zenith Cup, which was a curtain raiser to the 2008 AFCON held in Ghana should been the tournament for a bit part player like Brimah who until his call up to the team, had only two appearances for Cordoba.

Somewhere in the Black Stars Camp, deputy Captain Andre Ayew must be kicking himself after Brimah’s comments because for the first time in a period spanning two plus years, Ghanaians began to fall in love with the Stars.

A series of unfortunate events at the 2014 World Cup wiped off any affection for the team but the Stars last win against Congo brought back smiles on the faces of Ghanaians who looked forward to see the side get past nemesis Cameroon in the semis on Thursday. Well anything in that regard just went out of the window together with Brimah’s chances of getting an invite once Avram leaves.

It will be terribly shocking to see Ghana’s Football Association top hierarchy stand pat and fail to punish the keeper knowing in hindsight legendary figure Samuel Osei Kuffour was dismissed from camp for lashing out at officials over poor kits in Mali 2002.

Kevin Boateng suffered the same fate when he directed unkindly words to football officials in Brazil. Copying the structure of Brimah’s message, all attention shouldn’t be on the team’s flaws.

Instead, support and focus are needed to secure Ghana’s passage to the final game on Sunday and that can be achieved by beating a young and hungry Cameroonian side in Franceville.