Does sex in camp worsen the trophy drought?

Sex is delectable. It is as pleasurable as alluring, so the experts say. But can it be enjoyed by players and officials at a football tournament, too, that has a trophy at stake?

The answer to this contentious question is probably embedded in the bosom of the former Deputy Minister for Youth and Sports, Vincent Oppong Asamoah, who has travelled on a couple of occasions to football tournaments involving the senior national team, Black Stars.

In an interview with Happy FM nearly a fortnight ago, the former Deputy Minister made statements that suggested that there is a ‘sex galore’ in the camp of the Black Stars during tournaments and the practice has contributed to the team’s failure to clinch the African Cup of Nations trophy – in decades.

According to the Dormaa West Parliamentarian, there were occasions when the players clashed with officials over girls at their hotels.

“Ghanaians are too undisciplined. They cannot close their zips when they travel for tournaments as they keep chasing girls and disrupt the attention of players.

“I have followed the Black Stars to many tournaments and seen some of the management members changing girls at the team’s hotel, competing with the players for girls – most of whom are foreigners,” he alleged, believing that it was the reason the nation had not won a trophy at the senior level for decades.

Indeed, the last time Ghana won the continental Golden Fleece was in Libya ’82 – 39 years ago when they outkicked Libya’s Mediterranean Knights in a thrilling shoot-out.

Since then, the Stars have managed to dazzle their way to three grand finales (1992, 2010 and 2015), but missed the Holy Grail – one of them (2015) – inexplicably, after taking a 2-0 lead during the shoot-out with Cote d’Ivoire.

That the Ivorians had to resurrect from the two-goal slump to win the Cup at the expense of Ghana, will for many years be etched bitterly on the memories of long-suffering Ghanaian football fanatics. Not ready to accept the result, some Ghanaians described the loss as football’s most Himalayan mystery.

For Mr Oppong Asamoah, it is no mystery – forbidding anyone to seek consolation in the metaphysics, but rather pointed to attitudinal.

In short, the former Deputy Minister believes the ‘curse’ is self-inflicted, arguing that the sex-escapade in camp affected the players’ focus and psyche in the tournament – hence the failure of the team to break the trophy drought.

However, Asamoah’s assertion has been ‘rubbished’ by a former Management Committee member of the Black Stars for many years, Fred Pappoe, who described the claims as “unguarded, loose and unsubstantiated.”

Well, perhaps, instead of cursorily brushing aside Oppong Asamoah, there is the need to put some measures in place to forestall a recurrence, if any, during the Cameroon 2021 Nations Cup. We know that the former Deputy Minister cannot be totally wrong, though he may have over exaggerated the situation.

Getting the players to focus on the tournament is very significant and appropriate.

Ahead of the Black Stars’ appearance at the Brazil World Cup in 2014, the team’s psychologist, Professor Joseph Mintah, submitted a proposal to the Ghana FA to consider players to bring their wives or girlfriends to the tournament, insisting that it would boost their performance during the competition.

He explained that the Stars were going away for more than six weeks, and research has confirmed that the players could stage some disturbance because of the absence of their spouses after 21 days of being away from their families.

In 2014, England permitted both wives and girlfriends to join their camp, as the long pre-tournament World Cup camping without sex, could hamper concentration.

He proposed that the spouses must stay at the nearby hotel while a timetable be drawn for players to meet them to ensure effective control and monitoring of the system.

What of asking our players to focus on the Big Prize and abstain from sex altogether. Too big a task for them?

In any case, Mexico’s football team were ‘banished’ from having sex during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, in order to maximise their athletic performance. However, the team lost in the Round of 16, as they had in every World Cup since 1994.

Maybe, we could take a second look at Prof. Mintah’s proposal. For other officials of the team, the Argus-eye would definitely be feasted on them because of Mr Asamoah’s allegations and they would need no Angel to caution them to put up a good-as-gold behaviour.

PlainTalk with JOHN VIGAH

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