Why Ghanaian ‘Military Government’ Blocked 1978 AFCON Winner From Playing Abroad Explained

Why Ghanaian ‘Military Government’ Blocked 1978 AFCON Winner From Playing Abroad Explained

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
  • Ghana legend Mohammed Polo has lifted the lid on one of the most painful moments during his playing career
  • The 54-year-old had an opportunity to play in the United States of America but his move failed to materialize due to a decision by the then-Military government
  • Mohammed Polo, who won the 1978 AFCON, will launch his biography dubbed "Polo, The Magnificent" on July 14

1978 Africa Cup of Nations winner, Mohammed Polo has opened up on how his dream move abroad was ended by the then-military government in Ghana.

Arguably the most technically gifted player to have emerged from the West African nation, Mohammed Polo was one of the most exciting prospects in the Ghana Premier League in the early 70s.

His immense quality and penchant for surreal dribbling saw his name appear on the radar of most clubs in the United States of America during the formation of the then North American League.

Mohammed Polo, Hearts of Oak, Ghana Premier League, United States of America, Military government, General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, coup
Mohammed Polo was nicknamed the 'Dribbling Magician' due to his effortless approach to dribbling. Photo credit: @Ghanaballers
Source: Twitter

Polo would however miss this life-transforming opportunity due to a decision by the country's military head of state, General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.

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"I had a chance to travel to the USA in 1974 after being shortlisted among the best player on the continent but the government blocked the move from happening." Mohammed Polo told Accra-based Angel FM via Ghanaweb.

According to Polo, he was declared a national asset and hence his dream move to the USA hit the rocks.

"It was not Hearts of Oak who blocked that transfer but the Military government of the day stopped me because I was a national asset and nobody dared to speak against the decision of the government."

Polo revealed he is pained by the missed opportunity, which he believes would have changed his life for the better.

"I was supposed to go with Peter Lamptey but the government blocked our dream. I'm still pained about what the government did to us because that transfer could have changed our destinies."

Mohammed Polo omits Abedi Pele in his all-time Ghana XI

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Mohammed Polo has shockingly left out three of Ghana's most famous football icons from his all-time XI.

The 1978 Africa Cup of Nations winner left out three-time African player of the year Abedi Pele, and Ghana's all-time top scorer Asamoah Gyan.

Other notable exclusions include Hamburg and Leeds United legend Anthony Yeboah, 2001 UEFA Champions League winner Samuel Osei Kuffour and Chelsea legend Michael Essien.