Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Someone’s mind is finally coming home.

Sulley Muntari says he would continue to remain loyal to Ghana despite concerns about his commitment to the Black Stars.

When that story made the news at the start of the week, my first thought was “no one is bigger than the national team after all.”

Remember when Muntari’s mum said without her son, there was no Black Stars? Well, Ghana called his bluff.

Muntari missed two of Ghana’s (crucial) 2010 World Cup qualifying matches this month. He said it was due to injury. Fair play to him.

Against Mali, Kwadwo Asamoah made some of us forget momentarily that Sulley was absent. Remember that 25-odd yarder? Well, in the end the Black Stars won 2-0.

Sections of the local media who doubted the Inter Milan player’s reasons for absenting himself had many conspiracy theories. Before then I had also taken a dig at the guy for an earlier incident in Kumasi.

No problem. Ghana then faced Sudan, again away, and once again, won without the man.

Obviously, the point has been well made by Milo that his team does not rely on a hard-and-fast set of core players, no matter how integral they may be.

And so Muntari broke his silence to respond to rife jabs at his loyalty to the national cause.

“I played for about two months of the season with an injury and sometimes I will train once a week and play on the weekend or not train at all.

“When the season ended I did a test and was told to rest.

“I could not have decided all of a sudden not to play for the country again.”

We like you, Muntari. Your contribution to this team has been great but please you are not bigger than the Stars. Never have, never will be.

Muntari’s - and those of other players - has seen the emergence of some young internationals which is expected to raise the level of competition for places in the team but Muntari says he welcomes it.

I say: you better.