Permit me to start this by saying I have heard a lot of ridiculous things in Ghanaian football. I couldn’t help trying to avoid a guffaw when Sulley muntari’s mum, Hajia Kande declared, “No sulley Muntari, No Blackstars”
And wait a minute, was there any Ghanaian who did not roar with laughter when it was reported that a referee was caught officiating a division one game with a huge amount of money stacked in his hose?
But nothing, I repeat Nothing, has ever amused me quite as much as reports which came from Brazil that Sulley Muntari launched an ‘unprovoked physical attack’ on Black stars’ management committee member Moses Armah at their hotel base in the build up to Ghana’s final group game against Portugal at the 2014 world cup in Brazil.
Unprovoked physical attack? Ha ha ha ha……
Cristiano Ronaldo and his team mates could barely squeeze in a smile when the referee called time on a not too exciting game between Portugal and Ghana. 2 – 1 Portugal. The final score! And the shame and ignominy that had beclouded the Blackstars , a few days after getting the world waxing lyrical about their excellent display against eventual champions Germany, had gone a full circle.
S-H-A-M-E were presumably the most abused set of keys on every journo who cared to report on team Ghana after the episode’s keyboard.
The haunting images of $3m being flown to Brazil and carted in a bullion van to the team hotel, disturbing images of players kissing various sums in cash, gory reports of players’ disquiet and brawls had succeeded in turning the world and its critical lenses on Ghana – the narratives were not one that will leave any Ghanaian laughing.
A nation’s hopes have been dashed.
We’d become the butt of ridicule to world. Meanwhile, in Accra and other parts of Ghana, tempers where gradually building up to unhealthy levels. There was a general feeling of betrayal as they only outlet many banked their hopes on to bring some respite in the face of dwindling economic fortunes and crippling inconsistencies in power supply had brought anything but joy.
On these ungrateful stars, many swore, God himself would wreak vengeance. Their actions and inactions had brought us pain.
Sulley Ali Muntari had been with the Blackstars for a long time and one never to shy away from the headlines. He seems to love the headlines and the headlines love him. Having been in and out of the national team few times already of various reasons – from falling out with Milovan Rajevac to exhibiting gross insubordination and petulance against Kwesi Appiah in a Maseru Lesotho when the latter decide to substitute him midway through the game – the court of public opinion were quick to adjudicate and pronounce judgement on him when details started emerging from Brazil.
Sulley Muntari again? A lot of people were already deriding him as a mercenary when in fact the situation on our hands was slightly more nuanced.
After putting in two solid shifts in Ghana’s opening two games at the mundial – arguably the best individual performance by an African at a FIFA world cup – Sulley Muntari decided to set the cats amongst the pigeons and demanded bonuses and emoluments due to the players. A gesture which stemmed from the fact that there had been a plethora of unfulfilled promises as to when and how they were going to get their appearance fees. The players were running out of patience.
Where were the monies? Why soo many unfulfilled promises? When were they going to be paid?
Why were there in his, as we’ve come to understand, not too humble opinion too many people with an antibiosis relationship with around the team. Feeding fat off the sweat of the main actors when they [players] haven’t been given their due yet?
Indeed, the questions were many and pointing. And like a molten magma under the belly of a dormant mountain, the players’ grumblings were building up and threatening to explode and it eventually did courtesy the cats’ whiskers – Sulley Muntari.
Angst. Pain. Regret. Questions. More questions. Tempers flared and in the ensuing fisticuffs proved to be the can of worms that in a long chain of events eventually led to the setting up of an inquisitorial commission to dig out all there is to know about Ghana’s 2014 world cup participation.
The revelations have been chilling and it is promising to leave in its wake a presaging sense of direction in public discourse going forward with regards to our how our Blackstars get prepared for future tournaments.
Never mind Sulley Muntari’s reputation has been plunged further. Never mind this episode has been added to his already uncomplimentary history of insubordination. Never mind till date, no action has been taken against the other party in the fight.
Has he been vindicated now? Was his indiscipline worth our while? Would all these revelations from the Justice Dzamefe commission report have gone unnoticed if Sulley had not intervened?
For all I have come to know…. Give me Sulley Muntari any day!