George Amoako, the Management Committee Chairman of the Black Stars has disclosed that they are struggling to convince European-born players of Ghanaian origin to play for the country due to some negative perceptions the said players have about the Black Stars.
Amoako says notions about juju and deliberate career-threatening tackles have gotten into the minds of the players which has made it extremely difficult for those players to switch allegiance to the country.
He revealed to Nyhira FM that some of the parents even discourage their sons to play for Ghana due to widespread belief in the juju or black magic.
“Most of the [Ghanaian] players born in Europe, if you want to entice them to come and play for Ghana, it is very difficult. They mostly aspire to play for their country of birth or host countries. Even their parents don’t opt for their children playing for Ghana.”
“There are a lot of perceptions about how Ghanaian footballers play the game. Reckless tackles, destructive tendencies in the Ghanaian game and talks of juju put them off”.
The juju phenomenon is one thing that came up strongly during Adam Kwarasey’s stint with the Black Stars.
It was rumoured that Fatau Dauda sought extra help from juju men which gave him an undue advantage over Kwarasey.
Dauda lived with that accusation for some time but in a www.ghanaweb.com interview last year, Dauda denied those reports, insisting that he never consulted any juju man.
“For me, I pray a lot and I do so not because I want to perform better but for God to protect me from injuries. Without training and hard work, your prayers for better performance will not work so for me, it’s about working hard.”
George Amoako was speaking on Ghana’s attempt to have Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey represent the country instead of England where he was born and has featured for their youth teams.
He confirmed that discussions are ongoing to have him play for the Black Stars.
“In fact when I was watching him [Lamptey] on TV, the first thing I did was to call a couple of people and it was clear that he will be a good player for our national team, the Black Stars,” Amoakoh told Nhyira FM.
“It is not going to be easy [to get him to switch international allegiance]. The national teams’ department is making serious efforts to get his parents and the boy to agree to play for Ghana”.