Former Ghana midfielder, Derek Boateng has opened up on how Samuel Osei Kuffour prevented players from leaving the camp of the Black Stars during the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Mali due to the ill-treatment meted out to the playing body.
Osei Kuffour was thrown out of the camp of the team by the management committee for breaking camp rules.
However, the former Bayern Munich star indicated on Joy Sports that the team experienced poor conditions in the camp and he was victimized because he stood up to the management committee.
Derek who made his debut tourney has added his voice to Sammy Kuffour’s claims.
“Our worst AFCON experience was at the 2002 AFCON in Mali and Sammy Kuffour was a true leader,” Boateng told Starr FM.
“In fact, the condition was very bad, the place we slept and the kind of food we ate were so bad.
“He (Sammy Kuffour) was the one who even encouraged some of the players to stay in camp because many had wanted to leave camp in Mali 2002.
“He was always encouraging us and talking to us. He told us we are here for Ghana and that we should forget what we are going through, if not for him most of the players would have left.”
Ghana qualified from the group stage of the 2002 AFCON by winning their last game to set a date with Nigeria in the quarter-finals but they lost 0-1 to their West African neighbours through Garba Lawal’s goal.
Both Sammy Kuffour and Derek Boateng also represented Ghana at the World Cup for the first time in 2006.