Nigerian football legend, Austin Jay Jay Okocha has revealed that the lack of unity among big players in the Black Stars is the main reason why a talented team like Ghana hasn’t won the Africa Cup of Nations since 1982.
According to Okocha, whenever he thinks of Ghana, he is reminded of the avalanche of talent that the country is blessed with but in the same vain he is reminded of the unbelievable underachievement of such a team.
Speaking to Joy FM’s Gary Al Smith in Germany recently, Okocha said when he thinks of Ghana the first thing that comes into his mind is “Flair,” he began, and then: “Underachievers. Let me put it that way because I know that Ghanaians are so talented, and always produce great players,” he told Joy Sports in an interview during the StarTimes Media Tour in Germany recently.
He went on: “But they always have issues with coming together as a team. I don’t know whether it is ego problems or whatever. But the big players seem to fight each other, and that is why it seems like they are underachievers.”
Okocha referenced the most recent self-implosion from the Black Stars to back his views.
“And from what we see from the outside, it is like they never have a good team spirit. Remember what we saw during the last AFCON with the Baby Jet, Asamoah Gyan; and [Andre] Ayew and the manager. It’s always one issue or the other that limits them from achieving what they have to achieve.”
Kwesi Appiah is currently leading the latest crop of Ghanaian players to attempt to win the AFCON for the first time since 1982. Considering that when the Black Stars won its fourth trophy in Libya, the nation of Nigeria had won just a single title, it’s hard to blame Okocha for calling Ghana an underachieving nation.
The 46-year-old is an ambassador for the Bundesliga, and also a member of the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation.