Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Ghana Midfielder Wants Appiah's Number Retired

Ghana Midfielder Wants Appiah's Number Retired
By Nathan L. Redd

Fenerbahce star Stephen Appiah will miss the African Cup of Nations Tournament in his home country next month, but his presence will be felt if Andre Dede has any say. Dede, a midfielder for Ghana's Black Stars National Team, wants Appiah's number 10 shirt temporarily retired during the tournament. He has asked the Ghana Football Federation to comply with his request next month, according to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

"Capito is a special person for all the players in the national team and I think our recent successes can be attributed to him," Dede told Ghanasoccernet. "He serves his country as if his life depends on it and we, the younger ones, are learning from it too and that is what has made him the player he is today."

Dede is serious about his request to honor the Fenerbahce star. "I am pleading with the authorities not to use his jersey during the Nations Cup to show him that Ghanaians really appreciate the work he has done and that his jersey will be available anytime he wants. I think from this he will know how highly Ghanaians and his colleagues hold him and when this thing is done for him he will be very happy."

Appiah is a huge star in his home country, but he's gained a reputation for not letting his success go to his head. After spending some time with him earlier this season, I can certainly attest that Appiah has not lost his humility or sense of humor. Dede claims the superstar has been a mentor to him and the other young Ghana players as well. "Since I joined the Black Stars he has made every effort to make sure I feel part of the team by encouraging and advising me and I know this is how he has dealt with other players too. His absence is a blow to the country but we can't fold our hands and do nothing. We will fight to bring glory to Appiah's name."

Ghana will host the African Cup of Nations Tournament in February 2008.

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