Former coach of the Black Stars, James Kwesi Appiah, has denied having issues with his former teammate, Abedi Ayew Pele over the captainship of the Black Stars.
Reports of a long-standing rift between Appiah and Abedi who were both members of the Black Star squad that played in the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal have dominated the media space for a very long time.
Prior to that tournament, Appiah was stripped of the captainship while Abedi was named the new captain.
Speaking on the issue on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Monday, 3 February 2020, Appiah blamed the then management of the national team for the impasse between him and Abedi.
Appiah told show host Benjamin Akakpo that: “I’ve never had any issue with him (Abedi)…I thought it’s the management who didn’t treat the topic well by sending it out there that we are going to Senegal and Kwesi Appiah doesn’t speak French, meanwhile, before we qualified to Senegal, we had been to Burkina Faso, Togo…
“But if they had told me earlier, I would have suggested to them to push me to general captain because I had been captain for four years, so push me to the general captain and make him (Abedi) the captain then everybody would have understood”, he pointed out.
However, “Because of that statement made by the management, there was some kind of division in the team but when we got to Senegal, I said to Abedi, ‘we can’t continue like this otherwise we’ll not be successful, there’s no divided team that can be successful’ so, every evening, I invited all the players to my room …and let them know we are not here because of Kwesi Appiah or Abedi, we are here to defend the flag of Ghana so let’s unite and gradually the unity started coming back and we got to the final.”
Appiah disclosed that after the 1992 AFCON, he has visited Abedi Ayew about six to eight times at home and had conversations with him over bottles of soft drink.
Despite the seeming misunderstanding in the Black Stars camp, the team made it to the 1992 AFCON finals and lost 10-11 to Ivory Coast on penalties after a goalless score line.
Coach Appiah is currently promoting his book titled: “Leaders don’t have to yell”.