AFTER failing to get satisfaction from accosting Tunisian referee Med Kordi on the new Levy Mwanawasa Stadium pitch in Ndola at the weekend, the vanquished Ghana’s Black Stars took their frustrations to their dressing room. The Ghanaians trashed the room with all sorts of garbage, leaving the place a total mess to sum up their anger of losing twice to the Chipolopolo in four months.
In February this year, Zambia knocked Ghana in the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations. Despite the stadium staff providing litter bins in the dressing rooms, the Ghanaian players opted to flood the floor with water, toilet tissues and banana peels. A bathing tower from Moba Hotel in Kitwe where the Black Stars were lodging was also found dumped behind the dressing room lockers.
The mess was discovered by stadium staff after the Ghanaians had left for Kitwe following the 0-1 loss.
It’s unbelievable that the (Ghanaian) players whom we thought were civilized could leave such a mess in the dressing room.
We expected them to behave well despite losing here. How can they just throw things around like that,” a disappointed worker at the stadium, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
Earlier, after the final whistle, the Ghanaian players had vented their anger on Kordi, whom they accused of poor officiating, and the police officers had a torrid time before calm returned on the pitch. However, the Ghanaians claimed their midfielder Derek Boateng and unused striker Benjamin Acheampong were punched by Zambia security personnel in a post-match melee. The Ghana Football Association (GFA), who have threatened to report the incident to the Confederation of African Football, also complained that their officials were not allowed entry into the VIP lounge and made to sit amidst Zambian fans.
And Sports Minister Chishimba Kambwili said it was unfortunate that the Ghanaians were blaming referee Kordi for the 1-0 defeat, the goal scored by skipper Christopher Katongo to get Zambia’s campaign back on track.
Kambwili, however, counselled Ghana officials and players in an interview after the thrilling Group D match watched by a capacity crowd saying the Black Stars should learn to concede defeat and give credit where it is due instead of giving scapegoats.
“It’s unfortunate that the Ghanaians have kind of protested against the referee when you all saw that the referee was fair. There is no mistake that the referee made except that he handled the game professionally.
“So, they must just accept that they have lost, and when you lose you accept that you have lost without putting blame on anybody,” Kambwili said. The minister said the Chipolopolo’s victory had vindicated his earlier statement made after a shock 2-0 defeat to Sudan in Omdurman when he said that the African champions would bounce back against Ghana.
“I told the whole world when I was interviewed last week that losing the first game was not the end of the world. And true to our word, we are African champions and we will continue to be African champions, we cannot be scared of any team. “And usually a bad beginning makes a very good ending. So you can see that Zambia’s style of play and the level of play is extremely impressive and that the sky is the limit for the Zambia national soccer team, he said.