The German coach explained that he selected Baffoe as his skipper because there were the Kumasi and the Accra factions in the team but the former Fortuna Dusseldorf defender didn’t belong to any of them due to his orientation in Germany.
Abedi Pele who was the substantive skipper of the Black Stars was suspended for the final after receiving a caution against Nigeria.
In the absence of Abedi Pele Kwesi Appiah, Tony Yeboah were some of the players next in line for the captaincy role, but they were snubbed and instead Tony Baffoe who was new in the team was made to lead Ghana for the final against Ivory Coast.
Tony Yeboah in a recent interview admitted that the decision hurt him and some of the senior players in the Black Stars at the time and he believes it affected the team in the final.
Pfister has explained that factionalism which emanated from tribalism was deep-rooted in the Black Stars so he decided to choose Baffoe who didn’t belong to any of the factions due to his upbringing in Germany.
“Team handling is one of the most difficult duties of a football coach. But in Ghana, it’s a special situation with this clan [sic] thing: there are the Ashantis and the Ga-Adangbe people, Kumasi people and Accra people,” German coach Pfister told Citi Sports.
“So I thought, to keep out this problem, and maybe it was a mistake, but I gave Tony Baffoe the captain’s armband because he was from Germany and he was out of this whole clan thing. That is why I gave him the captaincy.
“Baffoe also spoke French and one of the linesmen also spoke French. Just like Abedi who speaks English and French, but Tony Yeboah speaks English and German, and I had to make a choice so I chose Baffoe.
“But Tony Baffoe was also a great player; he played in Dusseldorf and also played with Metz in France. But beyond all that, he was the most neutral. He was absolutely neutral, that’s why I gave him the captaincy.
“But this was not why we lost the final. It was 28 years ago and I’m sorry to Tony Yeboah for this but I think it wasn’t such a big problem.”
The Black Stars won the Afcon title in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982, and were hoping to make it a quintuple of titles at the tournament in Senegal.
Ghana have since 1992 reached the Afcon final on two occasions with both ending in disappointment.