Abedi Pele was the substantive skipper of the senior national male football team of Ghana during the 1992 AFCON, but he was suspended for the final against Ivory Coast, so Tony Baffoe was opted for to replace the ‘Maestro’.
The former Frankfurt striker Antony Yeboah has revealed that he and the other players from Kumasi got frustrated when Baffoe was named the skipper of the Black Stars for the Ivory Coast final, adding that the captaincy row had a toll on the team.
“To be honest I was very surprised and at the same time, the Kumasi group was shocked so it was affecting us during the game. They knew I was assistant captain,” Yeboah said in an interview with Kwabena Yeboah on GTV.
“That time Tony Baffoe was new in the national team and shouldn’t have been captain. I think this situation affected us a lot. Before the game, Otto Pfister told us that we have a letter from Ghana that Tony Baffoe should be captain. Everybody was shocked and it affected the team,” he said.
Reports of a stormy team meeting before the final when Yeboah left Pfister in no doubt about how he felt have consistently made the rounds and Yeboah freely admits that captaincy row “definitely on my mind.”
“I was a little bit angry. I will try to score, I hit the bar, it wasn’t working and we lost the final,” he adds.
Black Stars lost the trophy after failing to beat the Ivorians on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time. Tony Yeboah missed the penalty which handed the Ivorians the title.
For Yeboah, that whole Senegal ’92 experience and the general mood in the team ruined everything. He thinks it has pretty much become characteristic of Ghana at international level since.
He says: “Every tournament, we seem to have a little problem and football doesn’t work like that. The team has to be together, you need unity. Since we didn’t win in 1992, you can see there is a problem either with captaincy, money or something. We have fantastic players but these things affect us.”
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