Division hits Black Stars as Essien rubbishes Muntari axing
Profoundly worrying cracks are emerging in the Black Stars with only two weeks to the African Cup of Nations as midfielder Michael Essien has rubbished the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for excluding Sulley Muntari from the country's squad.
The explosive letter to the GFA has exposed the disunity in the squad, presenting coach Milovan Rajevac with a big challenge in the wake of the open revolt from Essien ahead of the tournament in Angola.
Muntari was axed from the Black Stars because of concerns over his repeated breach of discipline in the squad and his decision to snub a meeting with the coach to iron out the problem forced the Serbian coach's hands.
But Essien has challenged the decision to leave out Muntari as they face Ivroy Coast, Togo and Burkina Faso Faso as he claims it will weaken the squad.
“We are in one of the toughest groups this January and it is very important we go with all our experienced and valuable players to win the Cup and prepare us for the World Cup,” Essien said.
“Sulley Muntari is a world class player, and has obviously gained a lot of experience from playing in Europe.
“He has worked so hard in the past for the Black Stars and I remember at the last African Cup, Sulley and I suffered from malaria, and yet we played our hearts out for the country we love so much.”
Essien also takes issues with the tag of indiscipline against Muntari and wonders if he is not being treated unfairly for missing the friendly against Angola recently.
“Three players didn't show up in Angola for the recent friendly and we have been embarrassed and punished for this. However I wonder why Sulley has been the only one of the three excluded from the team.
“Sulley doesn't bring indiscipline to the pitch, he brings experience, value and results to our team and it is imperative we have him in the team if we are to excel at the next games.”
Ghana will begin camping for the African Cup of Nations on 29 December in South Africa.