Former Black Stars coach Otto Pfister has finally opened up on why he snub Tony Yeboah for Anthony Baffoe as Black Stars captain for the 1992 AFCON final clash with Cote d’Ivoire.
Ahead of the AFCON 1992 tournament, Kwesi Appiah was stripped of the captaincy and handed to Abedi Pele a decision then German tactician Otto Pfister said was due to the latter’s fluency in french since the tournament would be staged in a french speaking country (Senegal).
The team reached the finals of the tournament and Abedi Pele missed due to accumulation of cards.
The captaincy was given to tournament debut Tony baffle and this Tony Yeboah believes the coach’s choice of captain brought about disunity in camp hence shattering Ghana’s dream of adding to her four AFCON trophies.
However, the German tactician has explained why he named Baffoe as captain ahead of the final match.
According to him, the decision to pick Baffoe was also based on the player’s fluency in french since the tournament is ongoing in a french country.
“Team handling is one of the most difficult duties of a football coach. But in Ghana, it’s a special situation with this clan [sic] thing: there are the Ashantis and the Ga-Adangbe people, Kumasi people and Accra people,” German coach Pfister told Citi Sports.
“So I thought, to keep out this problem, and maybe it was a mistake, but I gave Tony Baffoe the captain’s armband because he was from Germany and he was out of this whole clan thing. That is why I gave him the captaincy.
“Baffoe also spoke French and one of the linesmen also spoke French. Just like Abedi who speaks English and French, but Tony Yeboah speaks English and German, and I had to make a choice so I chose Baffoe.
“But Tony Baffoe was also a great player; he played in Dusseldorf and also played with Metz in France. But beyond all that, he was the most neutral. He was absolutely neutral, that’s why I gave him the captaincy.
“But this was not why we lost the final. It was 28 years ago and I’m sorry to Tony Yeboah for this but I think it wasn’t such a big problem.”
The Black Stars who were hoping to be five-time AFCON champions missed out on the prestigious trophy despite been tipped to overcome the threat of the Elephants Cote d’Ivoire in the final.
The Black Stars lost 11-10 on penalty shoot-outs to Ivory Coast after a goalless scoreline in regulation time.
The Black Stars have won the AFCON title in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982,