John Paintsil recounts his fight with Osei Kuffour at AFCON 2002 and why he scored own goals at Fulham

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Former Black Stars defender John Paintsil has opened you up on why he fought Emmanuel Osei Kuffour during the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations Cup (AFCON).

According to John Paintsil, he was bullied on several occasions by Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, famously known as ‘The General’. He revealed that he stood up to him and fought him when he couldn’t take it any longer.

“I fought with one of my seniors during that tournament. Emmanuel Kuffour the General is that player. He brought the fight. He was bullying and making life uncomfortable for me in camp.”

“I know he will laugh over it now because we have moved on. He really made feel bad in camp so one day I just couldn’t tolerate him any longer so I threw the punch, he replied and we fought”.

“The national team was rough at that time but I think we were rebuilding. There was no unity among the players because everyone felt he was a senior”, he told Kasapa radio.

Ghana were knocked out of the tournament in the Quarterfinals by rivals Nigeria.

It was reported that the chaos and disorderliness in the team lead to the sacking of former Bayern Munich defender Sammy Kuffour, a claim he emphatically denied recently in an interview with Joy FM.

John Paintsil also recounted his time at Fulham, where he scored a succession of own goals. The right back revealed why he scored those own goals.

“When I joined Fulham in 2008 I was supposed to seal a four-year permanent deal with them but unfortunately for me, Roy Hodgson who brought me to the club left immediately after the 2010 World Cup”, Paintsil told Kasapa FM.

“I had to lift up my game to catch the eye and attention of the new manager Mark Hughes.

“I remember my first day at training after the World Cup, I confronted Mark Hughes about my contract and to find out whether he had plans for me.

“He told me to give him two weeks to make a decision. Many days and months passed but he was still procrastinating and this was causing me a severe despondency and dejection.

“In fact I lost my mental strength and I began to score own goals. In one those moments, I scored four own goals in a month and this is unusual of me and this even got me thinking about retiring from the game.

“I believe I retired prematurely from football because of what I experienced at Fulham under Mark Hughes.”

Paintsil left Fulham in 2011 to join Leicester City, he also went on to play for Santos and Maritzburg United. He retired from football in 2016.

John Paintsil is currently the Director for Legon Cities FC.

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