Stars didn’t boycott any match in Brazil - Essien

Author: Bernard Neequaye
Michael Essien

 

Ghanaian international, Michael Essien, has denied reports which suggested that the Black Stars threatened to boycott Ghana’s final group game against Portugal at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil due to non-payment of appearance fees.

Essien, a former Chelsea player, described it as a "cooked" story which could not be true because the match was an official one organised by FIFA which the Stars were in no position to boycott.

It will be recalled that both Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng were sacked from the Stars camp in Brazil for various acts of indiscipline following government’s failed promises to pay their the team’s appearance fee on time.

While Muntari was sacked for physically attacking a Black Stars Management Committee member, Moses Armah (Parker), Boateng was axed for using abusive language on Coach Kwasi Appiah at training.

The impasse resulted in Ghana airlifting US$3million to Brazil to settle the appearance fees of the players on the eve of the Portugal game, subjecting the entire country to a global ridicule.

But in an interview with the Graphic Sports, Essien, 35, debunked the claims and described the brain behind the story as a stupid fabricator.

"Nobody had to boycott the match; it was an official game and we cannot say we will not play so whoever came out with that story is very stupid.

"I was surprised that all those things came up but in any way, Ghanaians must always hear both sides of the story before criticising but not to wait until four years before they come back asking the other side what happened," he said.

The midfiender asked Ghanaians to put the issue behind them and look into the future because there was no need talking about it at the moment.

"We have to leave it behind us and move forward because after four years I don't think it is worth discussing," he added.