Black Stars defender Baba Abdul Rahman has opined that Ghana had a bad start in the qualifiers for the ongoing World Cup because authorities failed to insulate the team from their power play.
When the qualifiers started back in October 2016, the then Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye was on a collision course with the Ghana Football Association and often chastised the latter especially in the media.
It will be recalled that just before Ghana hosted Uganda at the Tamale Stadium, the Sports Minister held a meeting the players at the team hotel deep into the night before playing out an uninspiring barren draw with the Cranes on October 7.
Speaking to Dreams TV, Baba, who was in camp at the time, believes incidents that preceded the game affected the team.
“I’m really sad we couldn’t make it [to the World Cup] but I think there was much more to do than what people see outside because at that particular time, there was conflict between the Sports Minister and the GFA,” he stated.
Baba continued: “Especially with our first game against Uganda in Tamale. The organization was really poor – you walk around in camp and you don’t have any motivation because of these issues.
“But people do say as a player, you don’t have to allow some these kind of issues affect you. But no, it went beyond that and I’m not here to say what was wrong.
“Personally, the night before the game, I was very sad about the happenings in camp.
“…As a player, you need to be motivated, happy and that will make you focused on the game. But if there are side issues affecting you off the pitch, they affect your game,” he added.
That false start against Uganda played a huge part in Ghana’s failure to make a fourth successive World Cup appearance. The Black Stars eventually lost the ticket to the Pharaohs of Egypt.