Sports News of Friday, 24 June 2016
It’s been almost two years since Jerry Akaminko suffered a horrible ankle injury while playing for the Black Stars. And it’s been just over a year since striker Kwesi Appiah also did his cruciate ligament.
Both players have been forgotten by fans as they have faced lengthy periods of rehabilitation, says deputy Ghana skipper Andre Ayew.
Speaking at a ceremony to accept his 2015 Personality of the Year Award bestowed on him by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG), the attacker sought to offer some perspective to the long-held belief that senior national team players are only interested in making money from the country.
Ayew used Akaminko’s precarious career condition to illustrate how perilous it can be to one’s club career when featuring for the Black Stars.
“He was doing very well with his club but since his [injury], Jerry has cancelled his contract with his club and it ‘s very difficult. Nobody has ever said ‘Oh Jerry, [get this help or that help]. The same thing happened to [Black Stars and Crystal Palace striker] Kwesi Appiah. Most of you have forgotten! For a year now, Kwesi has not trained; he has not played after injuring himself while playing for the Black Stars.”
The event was held at the headquarters of MTN Ghana, headline sponsors of the SWAG awards.
In that vein, André noted that the players of the Black Stars do not play for the money but for the pride in the shirt.
“Money? Is it the 5,000 or the 3,000 or the 1,000? For me – and not just me, but my colleagues [too], all of us – we play for the Black Stars we love the badge here on our hearts. We play because it is our dream since we were young and we wanted to play for the Ghana Black Stars.”
“It’s just an issue of money. Money is just something aside. What is important is the game. What is important is the trophy coming home”.