By Ime Bassey, just back from Kumasi
As Nigerians look for ways to ease their pain following the U-23 Eagles exist from the All Africa Games in billed to take place in Maputo, Mozambique in September, spokesman of Ghana Football Association, GFA, Randy Abbey, has revealed that the GFA did not use charms (juju) as claimed by Nigerian officials.
Speaking with Saturday Vanguard Sports in an exclusive interview, Abbey stressed that Nigerians should not lay claim to charms as the reason for their loss but an issue of misinterpretation and incompetence.
“First of all, what happened was very very embarrassing to say. The thing is that somebody had eaten food in a take-way pack and left it in one of the lockers presumably the last time the stadium was used, and the cleaners in the stadium did not do work well enough by cleaning it, so, it attracted fungi. That was what the Nigerian team saw and was opposed to.
“It is just an issue of negligence in relation to who was supposed to clean the place and that of the stadium manager most especially for the fact that it is an international match.
“The most important thing is that, when the Nigerian team drew the attention of the match commissioner, the sports authority opened a third dressing room but the Nigerians refused. They insisted that they would use the corridor instead of the locker room that was clean.
“It was embarrassing for us as a country to make such kind of mistake. For me, I do not believe in charms (juju) to play football because if it works, all of us should know the country that would be winning the World Cup by now. I will find it a bit outrageous that people in this modern world would want to blame charms (juju) for their defeat,” Abbey revealed.
He reiterated his joy on the Black Meteors victory, “we are happy that we won. We expected the victory more so as we lost out in the Olympics. The All Africa Games was the only competition left for us. We are therefore excited to qualify ahead of Nigeria, knowing full well our rivalry in football,” he added.