Almost three decades after Ghana suffered a 1-6 defeat in Germany in an international friendly at the Ruhrstadion in Bochum, a former player of the team, Frimpong Manso, has attributed disharmony in the team ahead of the match as the reason for the humiliating loss.
He said poor handling of a captaincy issue and unfairness in the payment of allowances to the players created dissonance in the team and affected their psyche in the lead up to the match.
Infamously known in Ghanaian media as the Bochum Disaster, Ghana took a first half lead through Prince Opoku who connected home captain Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew’s rebound.
However, the Germans ran riot in the second half to score six unanswered goals for one of Ghana’s worst results.
Diagnosis into the cause of the defeat have often centred around an overplayed row over the captain’s armband, but the centre-back is blaming the team’s management for causing disunity among the playing body hours to the match as a result of the disparity in allowances paid to the players.
“We never knew that the management of the Black Stars at that time discriminated in the payment of per diem allowance to the Black Stars.
It was in Bochum that we realised that there were differences in allowances for the local players and that for their foreign-based counterparts.
While local players were paid in local currencies, foreign players were paid in dollars which was far higher in value than the local currency,” lamented Manso who featured in the April 14, 1993 match.
Explaining further, he noted that a day before the match, the GFA chairman and team leader, Nana Sam Brew-Butler, announced at a meeting that the foreign-based players would be given $1000 while the home-based players would be given 1,000 Deutsche Marks, a disparity which reportedly infuriated the players and created heated argument and protest in camp.
“So early in the following morning, Salifu Ansah, Emmanuel Armah, Ali Ibrahim and I went to Nana Butler and demanded to know why there were discrepancies in our per diem.
"In response, Nana Butler said the system had operated for sometime so he could not change it. We then protested vehemently until he rescinded his decision and indicated that local players who would start the match would be paid in dollars just like their foreign-based counterparts. This incident did not go well with the players before playing Germany.”
When Manso who was substituted in the 66th minute after reportedly sustaining an injury, it created a hole in Ghana’s defence which the Germans capitalised on to score six unanswered goals. He said it took him three months to recover from the injury.
“I felt severe pain, so I did not want to aggravate the injury. That was why I called to be substituted. I never left the field in protest because it took me more than three months before I fully recovered.”
Source: Daily Graphic
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