Former Black Stars defender Frimpong Manso has revealed the chaos and disharmony that engulfed the Black Stars camp on the night they embarrassingly lost 1-6 to Germany in a friendly game.
Almost three decades have passed since the incident, which is now termed in Ghanaian media space as ‘the Bochum Disaster’ but Manso says the events of that night is a pain he still carries in his heart.
Frimpong Manso claims, a cocktail of events, notably the poor handling of a captaincy issue and unfairness in the payment of allowances to the players created disharmony in the team in the lead up to the match.
Despite the uneasy calm in the lead up to the game, Ghana took a first-half lead through Prince Opoku who connected home captain Abedi ‘Pele’ Ayew’s rebound.
However, the Germans ran riot in the second half to score six unanswered goals for one of Ghana’s worst results.
Speaking to Graphic Sports about the incident almost 30 years down the line, Manso says even many people blame the captaincy row as the main reason for the heavy defeat, it is rather the team’s management which sowed seeds of disunity as a result of the disparity in allowances paid to the players.
“We never knew that the management of the Black Stars at that time discriminated in the payment of per diem allowance to the Black Stars.
It was in Bochum that we realised that there were differences in allowances for the local players and that for their foreign-based counterparts.
While local players were paid in local currencies, foreign players were paid in dollars which was far higher in value than the local currency,” lamented Manso who featured in the April 14, 1993 match.
Explaining further, he noted that a day before the match, the GFA chairman and team leader, Nana Sam Brew-Butler, announced at a meeting that the foreign-based players would be given $1000 while the home-based players would be given 1,000 Deutsche Marks, a disparity which reportedly infuriated the players and created heated argument and protest in camp.
“So early in the following morning, Salifu Ansah, Emmanuel Armah, Ali Ibrahim and I went to Nana Butler and demanded to know why there were discrepancies in our per diem.
“In response, Nana Butler said the system had operated for some time so he could not change it. We then protested vehemently until he rescinded his decision and indicated that local players who would start the match would be paid in dollars just like their foreign-based counterparts. This incident did not go well with the players before playing Germany.”
When Manso who was substituted in the 66th minute after reportedly sustaining an injury, it created a hole in Ghana’s defence which the Germans capitalised on to score six unanswered goals. He said it took him three months to recover from the injury.
“I felt severe pain, so I did not want to aggravate the injury. That was why I called to be substituted. I never left the field in protest because it took me more than three months before I fully recovered.”