On week three of season two of the Heart and Soul on LifeStyle TV which airs on Saturdays at 11:00 am, the show will discuss revelations by former Black Stars midfielder Derek Boateng about how Black Stars players staged a mutiny to force Andre Dede Ayew to be the first to enter the field before Ghana’s 1:0 loss to Zambia in the semi-finals of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations over juju claims.
Show host Erasmus Kwaw will be interacting with a former Black Stars midfielder Rev. Awuley Quaye Jnr from 11:00 am to 11:30 am.
It will be recalled that Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic caused a major uproar after claiming some players had used witchcraft against their teammates at the 2012 AFCON. The Serbian made his claim in a leaked report on the Black Stars’ failure at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, where they were beaten by eventual winners Zambia in the semi-finals.
But speaking on the ‘Saving our Passions’ programme on GTV Sports +, former Black Stars midfielder Derek Boateng, who was part of the Ghana team in 2012, gave further details about what transpired before and after the game.
“Before that game, we had 45 minutes to do the warm-up. The Zambians were on the field and we were also supposed to come out. Kwasi Appiah was the one to take us through the warm-up and he was standing at the entrance of the tunnel. I came on the field along with Jonathan Mensah or somebody else. We were standing and waiting for the rest of the players. Everyone was saying they will not go on the field first until Andre Ayew comes out,” Boateng said.
Some reports at the time indicated that some of the Black Stars players felt Andre Ayew, who scored the decisive goal in the 2:1 quarter-final success over Tunisia, had strangely “bewitched” them, and the only way they could destroy his supposed spell was to force him on the field before the rest of them exited the dressing room.
As a result of the impasse, the Black Stars only warmed up for 15 minutes before the scheduled game with the Copper bullets of Zambia which Ghana lost to Muyoka’s goal after Asamoah Gyan had missed a first-half penalty kick, according to Derek Boateng.
“For about 15 to 20 minutes, we were just standing there and without doing the warm-up. So the only warm-up we did in the game was for about 10 to 15 minutes. A lot of the players said they will not be the first to go on the field until Dede Ayew did.”
“So you see some of them sitting on the toilet, some standing on the side, and some sitting. So it was very disturbing. Goran was the coach and he could not understand what was going on. So after the game, I heard a lot of voices. I flipped up and blasted everybody. After the game, Nyatankyi (the GFA President) came to me and asked me what happened and I told him what exactly happened.”
Boateng recounted how the players regretted their actions after the defeat to the Zambians.
“In the dressing room after the game, I saw that people are sitting down with regret. But why do you regret it when you knew what you were doing was not good? But it was not a club side, this was Ghana. It is not about you but it is about the whole nation. So it was disturbing some of the things that happened in camp and people don’t come out to talk about it. For me, it is what it is. We have finished our careers and I can say whatever I want to say. Nobody can stop me,” he summed up.
In his leaked technical report on the Black Stars’ failure at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Goran Stevanovic said:
“We all need to help in changing some players’ mentality about using ‘black power’ to destroy themselves, and also make sure we instill discipline and respect for each other,” the coach said in a leaked technical report to the Ghana Football Association.
Ghanaian coaching legend C.K. Gyamfi banished witchcraft, magic, and juju practices in his team that won the AFCON in 1963, 1965, and 1982, because in his view “juju did not play football.”
The Ghanaian great told author Francis Botchway, another guest on Heart and Soul, “My team then decided to discard the services of the medicine men and rather rely on Christian prayers, good tactical systems, hard work, discipline, and motivation.”
African football is riddled with stories about the use of juju, magic, and witchcraft to aid the success of football teams. But opinions are divided on the subject area with many questioning the efficacy of such adventures while some others place much value on the act.
Heart and Soul explores the relationship between sports and faith on LifeStyle TV every Saturday from 11:00 am to 11:30 am