In an interview on an Accra-based radio station, Joy FM, Black stars Captain Stephen Appiah said he found himself in a very tight situation but had to be considerate in deciding on what to do.
This was in relation to criticizms levelled at him and the head coach, Ratomir Dujkovic for allowing Appiah to trek to Turkey and feature for his club, Fenerbahce against Genclerbirligi tonight ahead of the Stars' opening CAN 2006 match.
“Days ago, club officials made a desperate call to the Stars camp and said most of the Fenerbahce midfielders were either injured or were on suspension.
And after a long deliberation, it was agreed that I play for the club just for the crucial match on Friday,” he said.
According to Appiah, he had always placed his country first above his club but considering the situation, that was the only decision he could arrive at in consultation with the Stars handlers.
“The match on Friday is crucial and if I fail to help out, I could also lose my place and in the process even lose my regular place in the national team as well if coach Dujkovic's decision to call up players who are playing regularly for their clubs is strictly applied.
In this case, what do I do?” he asked. He allayed concerns and fears about the possibility of him being injured, saying he was an optimistic person and not a pessimist.
“Nothing will happen to me. And in any case, the flight from Egypt to Turkey is only an hour and a half. So there is no concern about being jet-lagged on my return. It has already been arranged that I travel back to Egypt as soon as the match is over,” he assured.