- The former Chelsea midfielder explained that Anas' video conveeys an idea of how GFA officials could have allowed the drama in Brazil to happen
- Essien, soon to be 36, is unattached to any club after being released by his Indonesian club
Former Ghana midfielder Michael Essien believes investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas' recent documentary piece 'Number 12' is evidence of Ghana players' rightful anger towards the FA at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The former Chelsea player who will turn 36 in December, rejected accusations that the infamous incident in 2014 was planned and led by himself as well as fellow players Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng.
In the wake of the incident in 2014, Sulley Muntari for instance was cited by Ghana Football Association (GFA) officials as delving into violence to solve matters at hand. The Ghana players at the the World Cup had threatened not to play a group game if they were not paid bonuses.
The matter led to then president John Mahama's order to enplane $3 million from Accra to Brazil.
The incident devolved into a more complicated matter and commission of inquiry was instituted. Largely, the Ghana players blamed FA officials for trying to swindle them out of their bonuses.
Following the incident, Boateng and Muntari were dismissed from the camp and handed an indefinite ban from the national team. Michael Essien went on a self-imposed exile.
But speaking to Accra based Adom FM in a report by ghanasoccernt, Essien said: “Ghanaians will now understand the reasons why that incident happened in Brazil by virtue of what is going on currently in our football”
“It will be very wrong for anyone to criticize me, Sulley Muntari and Kevin Prince Boateng for all that happened during the World Cup. Muntari in particular is a very good person and I have known him since our childhood days.
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The midfielder who is now unattached to any club also spoke glowingly of former teammate Stephen Appiah: “My best playing mate in the national team during my time was Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari.
Appiah was a unifier and through his efforts the country qualified to the World Cup for the first time in 2006."
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