Zambia FA (FAZ) has reported Ghana to FIFA asking the world governing body to play next month’s World Cup qualifier in Kumasi at a neutral venue, claiming midfielder Derek Boateng is inciting Black Stars supporters to attack the Chipolopolo when they arrive in the country.
In a disgraceful complaint to FIFA, FAZ said Boateng’s alleged provocative and inciting statement could lead to violence against the Chipolopolo in the decisive clash on 6 September.
The desperate Zambians, who know that the Black Stars are the overwhelming favourites to thrash them in Kumasi, are seeking backdoor tactics to have the game moved to the disadvantage of Ghana.
But their action could rather infuriate football fans in Ghana who are confident of a resounding victory for the Black Stars as they sense the latest desperate and psychological tactics the Zambian are adopting for next Friday’s crucial 2014 Brazil World Cup qualifier.
But his words have been negatively skewed and wrongly digested by FAZ who are now seeking FIFA intervention or sanctions on the player for the ‘hate speech’ claiming it may incite Ghanaian fans.
FAZ communications manager Erick Mwanza says they have reported the matter to FIFA claiming the the Black Stars player was peddling hate speech that border on anger and hatred towards the Chipolopolo.
“For such we are writing to FIFA to bring to their attention this hate speech which can easily cause riotous situation which can easily get fans to be very hostile to extents of even causing harm,” Mwanza said.
“Because what Boateng said here is that they want to revenge against Zambia, what do they want to avenge?” Mwanza questioned.
“We beat them [Ghana] hands down 1-0, the way we beat them at the Nations Cup [2012 Africa Cup finals]. There are no two ways or questions about it.
“So we are writing to FIFA to bring to their attention this matter and if the Ghanaians continue with this kind of hate speech, I think our correspondences will not only cite Boateng or anybody else for sanctions but even to the extent of asking that the match to moved from Kumasi to another neutral venue.”
Ghana hosts Zambia in the last Group D game in Kumasi on September 6.
The Ghanaian, who plays for English Premiership side Fulham, told Happy FM in Ghana that the Black Stars were mistreated on their trip to Zambia last year and want revenge not in a bad way but on the pitch when they take on Chipolopolo in Kumasi.
A draw will see Ghana qualifying to the final knockout stage while Zambia needs an outright victory to get to the last round.
On June 9, 2012, Boateng and Benjamin Acheampong tried to rush onto the pitch to talk to match officials whom they perceived to be bias but were prevented by Zambia Police officers, and they were physically manhandled but the Zambians doctored edited a video tape and posted it in the internet claiming it was the full event, a claim the Ghanaians strongly reject.
“They treated us badly when we went to Zambia. We must treat them the same way when they come to Ghana,” Boateng told Happy FM and is also quoted by GHANAsoccernet.com.
“We’ll pay them back in their own coin. They way they treated us before and after the game, we’ll treat them the same way. Not to be violent like they did to us but we will teach them a footballing lesson on the pitch.
“This is one game that I would love to be part of. I am confident about the game. We are more than capable of beating them. But we must pay them back in Kumasi.”
Even though Boateng’s statement was not as inciting as the Zambians claim, Mwanza feared that an ordinary fan would probably misinterpret Boateng’s statement thinking Zambia was hostile to their national team during the Black Stars‘ visit when in fact not.
This is the latest of a litany of back-door tactics approach by the Zambians in their bid to qualify for the World Cup as they were given three free points by FIFA in the boardroom and despite that gift Ghana still leads the group.
Ghana heads Group D with 12 points, one ahead of Zambia.
Ten group winners will qualify for the last qualifying round.
Draws will pair these teams to play for the five World Cup slots allotted to Africa.