Former Black Stars striker Prince Tagoe has made serious allegations about winger Joseph Paintsil’s controversial substitution during Ghana’s critical 2023 Africa Cup of Nations encounter against Mozambique on Monday night.
Paintsil, Ghana’s top player in the first half, was substituted at halftime by captain Andre Ayew. This choice proved costly, as Ghana gave up a two-goal lead and tied 2-2 with Mozambique, thus eliminating them from the competition.
In his post-match press conference, sacked coach Chris Hughton attributed Paintsil’s replacement to exhaustion. Paintsil, however, rejected this explanation in a viral video, answering to a journalist’s query with a dismissive “What fatigue?”
Tagoe claims that the move was not tactical, but rather the consequence of a personal quarrel between Tema Youth’s owner, Osei Kwaku Palmer, and Ghana Football Association President, Kurt Okraku. Paintsil has links to Palmer’s team, which has a long-running legal battle with the GFA. Tagoe feels Paintsil’s surprise substitution is due to disagreements between Palmer and the Okraku-led GFA leadership.
“Some people choose to make some gamers feel uncomfortable because of disagreements they have with other management members. I can readily demonstrate this with the replacement of Joseph Paintsil. Apart from the penalty situation, he had some strong runs. Which coach, in his right mind, will pull him off at halftime?
“It does not make sense.” If Kurt has a problem with Palmer, he should discuss it with him and leave the player alone. Some things are simply awful. These things happen in national teams, and they make certain players uneasy. What type of coach would have benched him? “The player was about to do more for the Black Stars, so we took him off,” Tagoe said on Angel TV.
The Black Stars did not win any of their three group stage matches, drawing twice and losing once. Consequently, the Ghana Football Association stripped head coach Chris Hughton of his duties.
Rigobert Song steps down as Cameroon head coach
Rigobert Song has resigned as Cameroon’s head coach, according to Samuel Eto’o, president of the Cameroonian Football Federation (Fecafoot).
This follows Cameroon’s poor performance at the Africa Cup of Nations, where they were ousted in the final 16 by Nigeria.
Eto’o indicated that the decision to break ways with Song was based on the team’s inability to accomplish its goals and that the executive committee and he did not consider extending Song’s contract as an option.
“We have not achieved our objectives, and our executive committee and I do not see ourselves renewing the contract (with Song),” Eto’o was quoted as saying by France 24.
Song, Eto’o’s former international teammate, was named Cameroon manager in February 2022.
Under his guidance, the Indomitable Lions qualified for the Qatar World Cup with a stunning extra-time victory over Algeria.
Cameroon, on the other hand, struggled throughout the competition, finishing last in the group stage despite a surprise victory over Brazil in the last game.
Eto’o praised Song’s efforts to the team, stating, “Song brought a lot to this team.”
However, he stressed the need to look ahead and find a new coach who can assist the club succeed.
During his tenure, Song supervised 23 matches, winning only six of them. Despite his attempts, Cameroon’s performance under his leadership was judged inadequate, prompting his resignation from the position.
Zambia crashes Black Queens’ Olympic dreams
Ghana’s Black Queens almost lost out on a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, losing to Zambia in the third round of qualifying.
The second leg match finished in an exciting 3-3 tie, giving Zambia a 4-3 aggregate victory courtesy to their 1-0 triumph in the first leg in Accra.
Despite a strong showing by the Black Queens, Zambia’s Cooper Queens won, crushing Ghana’s chances of going to the next round.
Zambia advanced to the next round, where they will face either Morocco or Tunisia, after scoring a free-kick on the stroke of full time.
Zambia opened the scoring in the thrilling match at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, with Barbra Banda scoring after only 11 minutes.
Gifty Assifuah cancelled out her goal 10 minutes later, and the Black Queens moved ahead with a second goal from Doris Boaduwaa to even the aggregate score.
Kabange Mupopo forced an equaliser in the 61st minute, but Azumah Bugri scored four minutes later to restore Ghana’s advantage and offer them another chance of qualifying.
However, that hope was destroyed when Jennifer Cudjoe was sent off for a second yellow card, and the ensuing free kick found the back of the goal.
While the outcome is unfortunate for Ghana, the squad may be proud of their better performance over the first leg.
They will now turn their attention to the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, which will take place later this year.
Zambia, on the other hand, advanced to the last qualifying round with strong hopes of earning a place in Paris. Their outstanding performance against Ghana implies that they might be a serious contender in the competition.
Jordan Ayew scores as Crystal Palace defeat Burnley
Crystal Palace secured a crucial victory in their relegation struggle by overcoming 10-man Burnley 3-0 in new manager Oliver Glasner’s first game.
Ghana forward Jordan Ayew scored one of the goals, extending his impressive record in front of goal. He also assisted, bringing his total goal contributions to ten this season.
Palace controlled possession in the first half but were unable to produce clear-cut chances against a determined Burnley defence. The visitors were reduced to ten men just before halftime when Josh Brownhill was awarded a straight red card for taking down Jefferson Lerma when in on goal.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Burnley held on until the 68th minute, when Ayew sent a precise cross that defender Chris Richards met with a thumping header into the bottom corner.
Just three minutes later, replacement Matheus Franca linked nicely with Tyrick Mitchell down the left wing, and Ayew tapped in his low cross from close range to make it 2-0. After Vitinho fouled Franca, Jean-Philippe Mateta comfortably took a penalty to secure the win.
As Palace grabbed a critical three points, Burnley striker David Datro Fofana had a late goal ruled out for offside. The victory lifts Palace eight points clear of the relegation zone and marks a successful debut for new boss Glasner, who becomes only the second Palace manager to win his first Premier League game in charge.
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