Saturday, November 28, 2009

Punish Essien, Muntari and Gyan now.

If you were the head of Ghana's football association, what would you do about this scenario?

You are basking in the light of world cup (and Nations Cup) qualification when suddenly, a phone call from the airport inform's you that the flight for Angola is ready for takeoff...but Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan are nowhere to be found. Aside there guys, everyone is accounted for and all attempts to trace the three (possibly) most valuable assets to your team are gone poof.

You dont need this right now so you make a few calls and find out that the guys actually cajoled their passports from the team manager and they're headed for their clubs as you speak.

Would you give the three the stiffest sanctions, including possible bans, regardless of their status in the team? Or would you impose fines on them? Or both? Or would you let 'em explain and then let them off? Or...

Whatever. The point is, two weeks after the three guys bounced before the friendly in Angola as a test for the coming Nations Cup, nothing has been said.

Oh, did I neglect to say that the FA launched an inquiry into what happened and to solicit explanations from the guys? Yep, that was a week ago and in that time, Michael and Gyan have written letters of apology and have asked to be pardoned.

You may have noticed that Sulley's name didnt appear in the apologies list. Dont be suprised: true to form he has not breathed a word of explanation to anyone. And it's not his first time.

As it is, it's obvious the FA are stroking the arrogant Inter Milan man and waiting for his word but I say he should be taught a lesson.

In March this year, I arrived at the dressing room area of the Baba Yara stadium after Ghana had played a dismal world cup qualifier with Benin, hoping for a sound bite or two from the boys.

Security was damn tight so I was denied access. So much for sound bites. Can you believe my anger, then, when I later heard that this same Muntari had raised a tantrum because his girlfriend had been denied entry to the players' dressing room area?

Since when were WAGs allowed into dressing rooms? And guess what? After that incident, Muntari's mother was all over the radio declaring that 'there is no Black Stars without my son'.

The righteous anger that followed countrywide was beautiful to behold. But of course, being who he is it soon blew off, though not without a lot of conciliatory statements by those close to him.

In this instance, I would expect the FA to send a stinging signal to the three that they cannot hold the nation to ransom. For me, better a dignified Black Stars than a girlfriend-toting set of arrogant nouveau riches anyday.

The coach, Milovan Rajevac, is known as a no-bullshitter. He should prove it now, not later. In case he has not been told, Muntari left the team during Athens 2004 because of some disagreements he had with some people in the system. Michael is also slowly building a reputation of not being a committed to the national team than he is at Chelsea.

This piece is getting long but I'm sure you get my point.

We need action. Now.