Former Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Joseph Yamin, has taken a swipe at National Youth Organiser of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Sammy Awuku, and current Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports for ‘contributing to the poor performance of the Black Stars’ in their qualifiers to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Black Stars failure to take advantage of the defeat to the Egyptians to enhance their chances of qualification has been blamed on the NPP stalwarts ‘reckless comments’ by Mr. Yamin in the roundup to their encounter with Red Devils of Congo in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.
Speaking on Happy FM in Accra, Yamin, who is an avowed and a loyal member of the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC), says Ghanaians failed to rally behind the team because of the numerous divisive comments made by the Minister and Mr. Sammy Awuku.
“The whole spirit of the nation is not behind the Black Stars which is the reason for the team’s poor results. I won’t blame Kwasi Appiah for the result we suffered against Congo in Kumasi. Youth Organiser of the NPP, Sammy Awutu told Ghanaians that the NPP will take only their party supporters to the World Cup. Obviously, some people on the other side will not support the team to succeed because of this statement.
Mr. Yamin further bemoaned that “the deputy Youth and Sports minister, Pius also said suggestions that the NDC government have made things difficult for the team’s qualification was unfortunately because the NDC has proudly superintended over the last two qualifications of the team to the World Cup.”
He stated that “we missed out of a great opportunity to come into the race after Uganda had beaten Egypt. If you make such statements, how do you expect the whole nation to support you? People will refer me to a similar comment I made but even if I did, we had already qualified at the time.”
Mr. Yamin also recounted how comments made by Black Stars midfielder, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu has also to some extent damaged the team’s relationship with Ghanaians who were obviously getting fed up with politics in the national team.
“When we were going to the AFCON in Gabon earlier in the year, Agyemang Badu said they were going to win the trophy for President Nana Addo and this comment created some disaffection for the team because Agyemang Badu was part of the team when Ex-President Mahama was in charge of the team but he never said that before any tournament.” Yamin said.