Former Ghana international Prince Polley has taken a swipe at Tony Baffoe for accepting the Black Stars captaincy in the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations final against Ivory Coast in Senegal.
Ghana, four-time African champions, had its hope of winning fifth continental title was dashed after losing 11-10 on penalties against Ivory Coast.
With the suspension of substantive captain Abedi Ayew Pele, Tony Yeboah, who was his vice, was supposed to have led the team in the final clash.
But the former Leeds United star, was overlooked as Tony Baffoe was handed the captain arm band to lead the team.
Scattered reports in the Ghanaian media suggest the decision to hand the leadership role to Baffoe cost the team the title as it sparked division in the team.
And Polley, who was a member of the team, insists they lost the cup due to the captaincy row.
Speaking on Kumasi-based Angel FM, he told Don Summer that “If Tony Baffoe had rejected the captaincy, it would have helped the entire team to win the trophy. Immediately they named him to lead us, the spirit of the team faded. During the penalty shootout, Tony Baffoe was the one who blew the last penalty away. Truth to be told, he blew it away because he was under pressure”
“I never thought he (Baffoe) can lead the team. If I were him I would have rejected it. I have exhibited that before. I remember we were playing against Liberia and with the absence of both Abedi Pele and Tony Yeboah, they wanted me to lead the team but I told them to give it to Frimpong Manso since he was a senior player and interestingly Manso grabbed the match winner for us”
“Tony Yeboah was at the top so he (Baffoe) should have rejected it and supported him” he said.
“Tony Baffoe got the opportunity to play for the national team through Tony Yeboah. So stripping him off the captaincy in the final means the authorities lost hope in Tony Yeboah.
“In fact, the believe that we had in winning the cup took a nosedive because of the captaincy issue. During the game you could see clearly that Tony Yeboah was on and off but I knew him to be active throughout our games.
“What I keep saying is that, I’m proud to share the pitch with Abedi Pele but I think he couldn’t promote unity among us. I strongly believe that we could have won even a world cup with the squad at our folds if we were united.
“I think his (Abedi Pele) leadership style declined due to the division between players”.