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Opinions of Saturday, 18 July 2020

Columnist: Mohammed Rabiu Adam

Richard Kingson deserves national award

Former Ghana International, Richard Kingson Former Ghana International, Richard Kingson

Ghana’s appearance on the global football competition staged in Germany 2006, World Cup brought satisfaction to many Ghanaians after countless efforts have proved futile. Among the key players who boost the squad with their rich experience on the international scene included goalkeeper Richard Kingson. His last minutes appearance and control of the post from his close competitor Sammy Adjei witnessed some movements and close pairing of balls away from goal post made his name a household one in Ghana.

Years after Ghana’s maiden appearance, there came a shivering revelation of an attempt to bribe Richard Kingson of $300,000.00 in the open game against Czech Republic. Czech Republic were then the second best country in the World FIFA football rankings. From the fans, sports fanatics and analysts, management of the Black stars, the Ghana Football Association, Ministry of Sports and the presidency whether past or now did not see it worthy and issue of integrity of the man at the center of the bribe and let alone to honour him.

It is a public record that Saudi Arabia once humiliated the senior national team, the Black stars that led to the sacking of Coach Abubakar Damba from the management team for allegedly being the architect to have facilitated the bribe in influencing Ghana’s disgrace in that international friendly encounter. How many Ghanaian players would have turn down this mouth-watering prize of $300,000?

Institutions such as Center for Democratic Development, Ghana Initiative Integrity, Christian Council, Office of the National Chief Imam and the various media houses should honour Richard Kingson and his wife for the love they have demonstrated to Ghana. The value of the bribe under consideration would take many players several years to be able to save that money in their account. It’s time people who have distinguished themselves like Olele and his wife are recognized for the coming generations to put their country first than their personal interest. The couples did not sell the country to the highest bidder.

Considering the influx of sports betting in the country, if gestures of this kind are not appreciated, footballers whose salaries are nothing to write home about would easily be influenced into accepting bribes and this will kill the interest of investors from coming to invest in our domestic football. Already, until the coronavirus caused the abrupt ending to the local league, there were already some allegations among some clubs players for staking betting themselves. Why won’t fans reduce their patronage of football matches in our various stadia?

Granted no institution or individual appreciate what you and your wife have done by rejecting that bribe, you have to be proud for what you have than for mother Ghana. May God bless you and your generations.