Sammy Kuffour reveals why Michael Essien left Black Stars camp at 2002 Africa Cup of Nations


Former Black Stars defender Samuel Osei Kuffour has revealed the reason behind Michael Essien’s exit from the team’s camp during the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Mali.

Essien was part of Ghana’s squad for the competition but left the team’s camp back to his Club in France after Ghana’s opening match against Morocco.

It was however believed the player (Essien) had picked up an injury in the game against Morocco hence flew back to his Club for treatment.

According to Kuffour, his teammate left camp because of the poor living condition of the team.

Les “Black Star” du Ghana posent pour les photographes le 21 janvier 2002 au stade Amary Daou de Segou au Mali. (Debout de G à D) Baffour Gyan, John Mensah, S. Sammuel Osei Kuffour, James Nanor, Kofi Amponsah, et Michael Essien. (Premier rang de G à D) Abdul Razk Ibrahim, Amankwah Mireku, Emmanuel Duah, Princeton Owusu Ansah et Isaac Boakye. AFP PHOTO ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo by Issouf SANOGO / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

“Nobody was able to tell them that what they were doing was wrong, and I was so glad that the late Ben Kofi apologized to me after the competition,” the former Bayern Munich defender told GTV Sports plus.

“When he was launching his book I was there and he told me he was sorry, at my Mother’s funeral he also apologized and said the way I was sacked from the camp was wrong.

“And they even said I went to the night Club which was not true because there was no Night Club even at where we were staying.

“I never regret being bold because I was concerned that some of the players could even catch some serious disease.

“Black Stars was eating on the road side, a chop bar, you can ask any player. Why did Michael Essien leave the camp and went back? Has anybody asked this question before? The players were not happy with the situation.”

Kuffour himself was evacuated from the team’s camp after Ghana’s opening group match against Morocco.


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