Stephen Appiah opens up on conversation with Sammy Kuffour before accepting Ghana captain role

Stephen Appiah Kumasi.jpeg Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah

Wed, 20 Apr 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah has shared that he held talks with Samuel Osei Kuffour before accepting the Black Stars captain role.

Appiah said ahead of a friendly match against Slovenia in May 2002, he was offered the role by the head coach of the Black Stars.

The legendary midfielder said he hesitated because in his view Sammy Kuffour was the most senior member of the squad and had shown leadership in the team’s camp.

He however had a change of heart after speaking to Sammy Kuffour who promised of him of his support and guidance.

‘It was a difficult decision for many reasons. For one, I didn’t want to betray Kuffour, a man I had admired for so long. He had accomplished so much and had sacrificed a lot for the good of the team. Some of the things he had done for the team were also the reason why some people didn’t like him. It could have been part of why he didn’t want the captaincy.

“So it was difficult for me. But I accepted after speaking with Sammy. He encouraged me to take it and assured me of his support. I realized I had started leading the team anyway and the armband was only going to legitimize what I already was’’ he said.

Stephen Appiah said that immediately after taking the role, he set out to erase the barriers in the team and build unity.

The first step in ensuring unity in the team’s camp was to remove the convention that meant that foreign-based players received more than local-based players in terms of bonuses.

‘‘Together with the players, we decided to scrap the existing bonus structure. It didn’t make sense to me that bonuses had to be paid based on seniority and status. The Black Stars had a history of disunity and everyone knew this. So I felt we needed to shift the paradigm’’ Gyan told Asaaseradio.

The changes introduced by Stephen Appiah fetched the needed result as three years on, he qualified Ghana to the World Cup for the first time.

Tornado as he is known in the sporting space held the mantle until after the 2010 World Cup is widely respected as the best captain in the history of the Black Stars.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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