Nana Amankona Nimpong, a Traditional Ruler has appealed to Ghanaian football fans and enthusiasts to be mindful of their criticisms, especially about the performance of players of the national soccer team, the Black Stars.
The chief, a footballer in his hey days in school, when interacting with the press in Sunyani on Monday, expressed great dismay about what he said, were “distasteful and discouraging” comments made by football fans and commentators about striker Asamoah Gyan for squandering two vital penalty kicks for the national team at the 2010 World Cup tournament and the just-ended AFCON 2012 championship.
Nana Nimpong said such unguarded and sweeping statements or comments against a player such as Gyan, a former top striker for Sunderland in the English Premier League was “too damaging, instead of corrective advice”.
“What about the sparkling football that the same Gyan played in the World Cup in South Africa and other earlier national assignments?” he asked, stressing that such unnecessary criticisms against the striker could create fear and panic in the other players in taking penalty kicks.
The Traditional Ruler stated that the same fear and panic could also engulf the entire family of a player concerned, if the canker was not checked and stopped.
Nana Nimpong expressed dismay about a caller on a radio station who said he had bought eggs ready to curse Gyan for messing up the penalty chances, especially the one in the semi-final game against Zambia.
He advised the person to stop the intended action or better still reverse it if he had already executed it because that should not be the price that the national star had to pay.
Nana Nimpong acknowledged the advice by President Mills in his recent State of the Nation address on the need for the technical bench of Black Stars to be more serious in coaching the players in the advanced techniques of taking penalty kicks.
No matter how skilful or perfect a player might be in penalty-kicks, the ability to perfectly utilize the chance to score will continue to be not an automatic chance, he stated.
“This is so because the opposing goalkeeper might also have learnt a lesson from a mistake he might have committed earlier so it should not be a surprise if he manages to save the penalty kick”, Nana observed.
On the need for a pre-match prayer for victory by any of the two competing teams, Nana Nimpong endorsed the practice but said praying to God or Allah for a win in any given match would not be enough without adequate preparation.
He appealed to Gyan to rescind his earlier decision of saying good-bye to the national senior team in view of the discouraging comments made against him by some Ghanaians with the assurance that there were some patriotic and honest Ghanaian football fans who were fully behind him.
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