Ghana defender John Paintsil has revealed on ‚ÄėStage Africa‚Äô, a comprehensive sports show anchored by Jerry Kwame Ayensu on GTV on Fridays, that he was sidelined due to his club-less status.
The former Fulham/Leicester City right back pointed out that coach Kwesi Appiah followed laid-down principle of the team that club-less players should not be considered for matches, hence his exclusion for the Lesotho and Zambia World Cup qualifiers.
Paintsil told the ‚ÄėStage Africa‚Äô show host ‚Äúthe coach called me before the two qualifiers, and explained why I can‚Äôt be part of the team. I understood him and wished the team well.
‚ÄúThe norm is if you have no club, you should not be handed a national team call up. It happened to Olele some time ago, and the coach didn‚Äôt want to make some players more special than others,‚ÄĚ he added.
On his take on the chances of the Black Stars in the Nations/World Cup qualifiers, the defender sounded positive, saying, ‚ÄúI believe we will qualify but it will take a great level of focus to achieve that dream.‚ÄĚ
Paintsil, with 85 caps, advised that unnecessary criticism of the team is not healthy; rather, the team should be encouraged when things do not go the way fans expect.
‚ÄúThe fans shouldn‚Äôt criticize us all the time. After all we have been able to bring smiles on their faces and we united them some time ago.
‚ÄúThey should continue to support us even in difficult times, that will make them true supporters and will bring the best from us,‚ÄĚ he added.
He gave the assurance that his agent is working tirelessly to secure him a club. He noted that several offers have come up, but they are thinking through to settle on the best.
In an unrelated issue, the secretary of the Ghana Athletics Association, Bawa Fuseini, has described the just-ended RLG Grand Prix meet as a huge success.
¬†By Kofi Owusu Aduonum