Ghanaian football legend Osei Kofi has reacted to ‘ignorant’ claims by renowned writer Elizabeth Ohene about happenings in the Black Stars in 1970s.
The former Minister of State in a feature titled ‘A few unpleasant truths’ revealed how Osei Kofi led a crop of Black Stars players to protest and hold the nation to ransom in 1970.
Elizabeth Ohene in the write up sought to question why people like Osei Kofi were held in high esteem as patriots who sacrificed everything for the country.
“When the Brazil 2014 Black Star debacle came, my devastation was total. Then I realised I was behaving like all those people who see the past as rosy and would make us believe that horrible things only happen in the present,” she wrote in the Daily Graphic.
“How could I forget that haggling over money has always been part of Black Stars culture? How could I forget that back in 1970, a certain widely celebrated Osei Kofi, now better known as Rev. Osei Kofi, led a boycott of Black Stars of the AFCON competition in Sudan? In today’s world, it probably would not have been handled any different from Brazil 2014,” she added.
But in a response that came nearly nine months after the write-up, Osei Kofi says the now 75-year-old accomplished journalist was too young to understand the happenings of the time.
Setting the records on what actually transpired at the tournament, Osei Kofi averred that he rather tried to stop the unfortunate incident.
He said as the skipper of the team, he made attempts to dissuade his colleagues from going ahead with their intended boycott but it fell on deaf ears as they threatened to impeach him as skipper.
“I was working at National Sports Council when Ibrahim Sunday and the others came to tell me that I should go speak to the authorities because I’m the one they listen to. So I went to speak to the authorities and the feedback I got wasn’t good so I even insulted one of them”.
“By the time I got back, the players had already ganged up and taken a decision. I tried to convince them but it did not work though they went and finished second. Ohene was a young girl then. She did not know what was going on” he said.