April 25, 2014

Ghana coach accuses soccer team of witchcraft

Goran Stevanovic

Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic claims some of his players turned on each other using witchcraft at the Africa Cup of Nations, according to a report published by the BBC on Friday.

Stevanovic’s astonishing accusation of deep divisions in the Black Stars’ ranks emerged from a leaked review of the team’s performance in Gabon where Ghana was knocked out by eventual winner Zambia in the semi-finals.

“We all need to help in changing some players’ mentality about using ‘black power’ to destroy themselves, and also make sure we instil discipline and respect for each other,” the coach said, according to the BBC.

In a report delivered to the Ghana Football Association’s (GFA) executive committee, Stevanovic added: “After losing to Zambia, there arose so many accusations amongst the players.

“I have learnt great lessons from African football and also about Ghanaian players’ behaviour on and off the field.”

Sarfo Gyami, part of the Ghana side at the 1992 cup, said: “It has always happened, but players have used it to protect themselves and normally in search of luck.

“I have never heard of a situation when players have used it against their own colleagues. That is a very bad situation.”

Despite outward signs of unity both Stevanovic and GFA president Kwesi Nyantakyi suggest the reality at the 2012 cup was very different.

“During the competition we observed that some players played to achieve personal fame, prominence and excellence to the detriment of the team,” Nyantakyi told a press conference this week.

“We also had complaints from some senior players, accusing some of the junior ones of disrespect.”

Stevanovic’s accusation indicate he may have trouble holding on to his post. The GFA is in the process of reviewing his contract, but he will still be in charge when Ghana plays Chile in a friendly in the United States next week.

AFP

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