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24.04.2007 Football News

Davis Cup Red Alert - Adjei-Darko, Darkey To Boycott Rackets

Davis Cup Red Alert - Adjei-Darko, Darkey To Boycott Rackets

Ghana's hope of getting back into the elite group in the Davis Cup competition hangs on a thread as two of the nation's top stars, Henry Adjei Darko and Gunther Darkey, have decided to boycott the competition.

The two, Ghana's best players at the moment, have decided not to be part of the Golden Rackets' Davis Cup campaign due to some differences with the Ghana Tennis Association (GTA).

In the last two years, Ghana has sunk from the Euro Africa Zone I to Zone III and is expected to play in an eight-team competition to begin the process of getting back into Zone II and eventually back into Zone I.

The Golden Rackets will play alongside Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Tunisia and Zimbabwe in the competition to be staged in Tunis next month from May 7 to 9.

The other group, also with eight teams in Zone III, will meet in Cairo, Egypt.

The teams finishing first and second in this final pool will be promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group II in 2008.

But the two players have formally indicated that they will play no role in Ghana's quest to move back into the top as their efforts are not appreciated.

While Darkey, a former number one star, has declined to be part of the team, possibly mulling an early retirement, Adjei Darko has said he is not retiring but at the moment he feels not encouraged to be part of the national team.

Adjei Darko has refused to sign the legal documents which spell out the contract between the players and the GTA for the Davis Cup despite pleas from some concerned officials and tennis enthusiasts.

In an interview with the Graphic Sports, Adjei-Darko said he was being affected pyschologically by the lack of interest and concern of the GTA officials in the players.

“Though we are national team players, we are treated like nobodies and have to literally beg for support. Nobody shows any interest in what is happening to our careers, and officials only show up when it is Davis Cup time.

“We cannot continue to live in that kind of hypocricy because tennis is a tough, mental and physical game. You have to be ready to compete at that level.

“As a young child watching the likes of Frank Ofori play, I relished the day I would also play and make my country proud. But right now it saddens my heart that several years on, the same problems that Ofori had and complained about and which forced him to retire, still persist.

He was undecided about his future with the national team but said he might reconsider to return when things were corrected.

Some officials of the GTA have remained tight-lipped over the issue, hoping they can persuade the young men to rescind their decision, while the main administrators, the Chairman, Jeff Abeasi, and General Secretary, Mr E.K Atta, could not be reached for their comments.

However, Graphic Sports has learnt that the decision by the players is a fall-out of what happened last year when there was seeming confrontation between the players and GTA officialdom.

In addition, promises made to the players in the past, especially with regard to the refund of airtickets from their various bases, were not honoured.

Story by Rosalind Amoh