Former Ghana striker Anthony Yeboah has revealed he was shocked and angry that he didn’t captain the Black Stars for the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations final in Senegal.
Substantive captain Abedi Pele was suspended for the match against Ivory Coast and Yeboah, who was assistant, was supposed to lead the team on the field. However, a last-minute decision saw Tony Baffoe handed the armband.
Recounting the incident, Yeboah said then-coach Otto Pfister told the team a letter came from Ghana that Tony Baffoe should be captain. According to him, the team was affected during the game.
“To be honest I was very surprised and at the same time, the Kumasi group was shocked so it was affecting us during the game. They knew I was assistant captain,” Yeboah said in an interview with Kwabena Yeboah on GTV.
“That time Tony Baffoe was new in the national team and shouldn’t have been captain. I think this situation affected us a lot. Before the game, Otto Pfister told us that we have a letter from Ghana that Tony Baffoe should be captain. Everybody was shocked and it affected the team,” he said.
Reports of a stormy team meeting before the final when Yeboah left Pfister in no doubt about how he felt have consistently made the rounds and Yeboah freely admits that captaincy row “definitely on my mind.”
“I was a little bit angry. I will try to score, I hit the bar, it wasn’t working and we lost the final,” he adds.
Black Stars lost the trophy after failing to beat the Ivorians on penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time. Tony Yeboah missed the penalty which handed the Ivorians the title.
For Yeboah, that whole Senegal ’92 experience and the general mood in the team ruined everything. He thinks it has pretty much become characteristic of Ghana at international level since.
He says: “Every tournament, we seem to have a little problem and football doesn’t work like that. The team has to be together, you need unity. Since we didn’t win in 1992, you can see there is a problem either with captaincy, money or something. We have fantastic players but these things affect us.”
Source: Ghana Soccernet