Stars Misery In Port Said - Agents To Blame
At least it is now clear that the Black Stars dismal performance against Zimbabwe could be put down to activities of some player agents and the players in the camp of the Stars on the eve of their crucial last group match.
Sources close to the team at their Port Said camp where they were accomodated during their group matches said distractions from player agents who constantly harrassed the players and the speed with which players were urged to sign deals could have affected their concentration during the match.
In telephone conversations with some media men attending the competition, as well as sources close to the team, questions were raised as to how players could be allowed to sign contracts just a night ahead of a crucial final group match.
“The player agents, especially Nigerians, flooded the Stars' Port Said hotel, most of them held promises of getting lucrative deals for the players and that might have affected the psyche of the players,” Stefano, an Italian journalist said.
He questioned the sense in allowing players to sign deals on the night ahead of such a crucial final group match, saying once the deal was done most of the players did not feel committed to helping the Stars win.
Issah Ahmed (Asante Kotoko), Prince Tagoe (Hearts) and John Mensah all landed foreign deals and already appended their signatures to the contracts.
Tagoe refused a deal with German side Mainz and opted for Saudi Arabian champions, Al Ittihad, for 18 months, while John Mensah signed for Stade Rennais of France, moving on loan from Italy's AC Chievo Verona till the end of the season.
Ahmed is also reported to have signed for Danish side, Randers FC. Laryea Kingston, who was given a four-match ban following his red card against Senegal in the second gorup match, also moved from FC Terek to Lokomotiv Moscow.
The deals were all signed last week Monday to beat the deadline of the closure of the transfer market, especially in Europe. While the Tagoe deal is reportedly worth $1million, the details of the other deals are yet to be made public.
While a source close to the team said the GFA President, Kwasi Nyantakyi, was only informed about the deals after all the documents had been signed, it was likely the Chairman of the Black Stars Management Committee, Mr Fred Pappoe, was aware because of the involvement of FC Mitdjyland.
He is the representative of the Division One club at the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA).
Since the deal could not be secured without the International Transfer Certificate (ITC) which must also be issued by the GFA, most concerned fans have also questioned how such things could happen on the blind side of the GFA President.
Head coach, Ratomir Dujkovic, has also been cited as playing a role, and thus could not keep a strict eye on the players.
Reports allege that since there was no Kotoko official in Port Said, Dujkovic opted to act on behalf of the club in the Issah Ahmed deal.