Soccer News of Monday, 24 October 2016
Former Black Stars skipper, Charles K. Akonnor, has debunked the perception that some unseen hands play active roles in the selection of players to represent Ghana in both friendly and competitive matches.
“The selection of players is based on merit. I never experienced any unseen hand manipulating the selection of players in our days, and I am also yet to know anything about it”, He told the Graphic Sports during an interview last Friday in Accra.
“ I played with quality players in those days, and invitation was by merit and not through any other means. That also galvanised me to offer my best until I took over as captain of the team”, he explained.
On how he got his call to play for the Black Stars, Mr Akonnor , who is now managing Dreams FC in the Ghana Premier League, noted: “I owe my first call-up to play for the Black Stars to Coach Otto Pfister from Germany.
“He first spotted me when I was playing for the national U-23 team in Accra during one of our competitive matches. I performed very well in that match and the following day, Otto Pfister invited me to play for Ghana. I took full advantage of that invitation and never looked back. ”
He said playing alongside Abedi Pele, Tony Yeboah, Samuel Osei Kuffour, Frimpong Manso and Prince Opoku among others, was not only a privilege, but also inspirational.
According to Mr. Akonnor, the Black Stars in those days were also confronted with challenges related to sponsorship and bonuses, “ but we were able to manage it without recourse to the media. We had our fair share of challenges, but we always handled it with care”.