I Fought ‘Bully’ Osei Kuffour During 2002 AFCON - John Paintsil Reveals

Ex-Black Stars defender John Paintsil has disclosed that he stood up to Emmanuel Osei Kuffour who was the skipper of the Ghana team that participated in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

He explained the former Hearts of Oak playmaker bullied him repeatedly and he responded after he got fed up and it turned into a fight.

John Paintsil, John Mensah, Michael Essien and Derek Boateng after a distinguishing themselves during the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup, were invited to the senior national team for the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali.

According to John Paintsil Emmanuel Osei Kuffour a.k.a ‘The General' picked at him repeatedly and when he couldn’t take it any longer, he fought him

“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 reached the quarter-f-finals of the competition and they were sent packing by their West African neigbours Nigeria.

The chaos and disorderliness in the team in that tournament can also be realized in the axing of Sammy Kuffour from the team’s camp.