Former Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu has stated the ‘bad boy’ tag on his former international colleague Sulley Muntari is partly to blame due to a lack of support from the rest of the team.
Notorious for his disciplinary issues during his time with the Black Stars and even at junior level, former Inter Milan and AC Milan ace Muntari has been snubbed from international duty since a famous unsporting incident during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The 36-year-old remains available for national duty as he is yet to announce his retirement but his current status of being unattached since 2019 has hampered any possible chances of making a return to the Black Stars.
“I think as players we did not help Sulley Muntari in some situations,” 30-year-old Badu, who announced retirement from international duty last year, told Citi TV.
“I am also guilty. I cannot exclude myself. Most of the time he stood up for the team. However, we never mentioned it when we were out of camp.
“He would receive all the bashing because everyone is looking out for himself. I need to be real because there are times when it really hurts me.”
Currently, back home in Ghana and unattached, Badu has spent a lot of time following the local league. He shares his thoughts on one of his observations.
“The pitches don’t allow us to see the quality of the players and it is very worrisome,” the former Udinese and Bursaspor man said.
“Just recently I read that the GFA had revoked the license of Liberty Professionals, but they are not the only ones.
“If they want to start revoking licenses, then they will stop the league because six clubs are using the Accra Sports Stadium.
“We need to revive the pitches and see the quality of the players, because at times when you are watching the games and you don’t know much about football, you won’t see the quality, but when you have a good idea about football, you will see the quality in the players.”
At the 2014 World Cup, Muntari was sent home from camp ahead of Ghana’s last group match against Portugal for physically assaulting a Management Committee member during a disagreement over appearance fees.
He was subsequently handed an indefinite ban from national duty for his behaviour, pending an apology, which he rendered two years later.
A year before the World Cup, during the qualifiers, the midfielder had a controversial incident with coach James Kwasi Appiah for being substituted during an away clash with Lesotho, after which he apologised.
Ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Muntari was also sent home from camp for disciplinary reasons, leading to a premature retirement from all eligible Ghana national teams. He later rescinded the decision.
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