African football icon Abedi Ayew Pele has disclosed that missing out on the final of the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations did not gravely affect his career.
Ahead of the finals against Ivory Coast at ‘Senegal 92′, as that edition of the AFCON is fondly remembered, the then-Olympic Marseille star suffered a yellow card in the semis that ruled him out of the game.
To most Ghanaians and African football watchers, that was a seismic and major turning point in the tournament, as Abedi Pele had lit up the tournament and showed that with him on the side, no team on the continent could match Ghana.
Abedi’s absence, coupled with a captaincy row, ensured that Ghana was unable to beat Ivory Coast in regulation time to win its fifth AFCON title.
The game was decided by a marathon penalty that saw Ivory Coast win their first-ever AFCON title with an 11-10 shootout victory.
Opening up about the game, Abedi Pele conceded that missing the game did hurt him, as he would have loved to win a second AFCON title with Ghana.
He, however, discounted the impact of the incident on his overall career as he returned to his club to continue to produce impressive and outstanding football for the French giants.
“It happens, and I’m not the only great player it has happened to. I got two yellow cards, which ruled me out of the final. It did not affect me at all as I went back to my club, and I did what I could do for my club.
“For Ghana, it was a serious disappointment that I couldn’t play the final. I had questions to answer as to why I took the second yellow. As we say in Africa, when your son does anything wrong, you don’t punish them severely. Things have been well for me. In my career, I had an opportunity to win one AFCON and I’m grateful to God for it,” he said.
Abedi Pele was addressing at the closing ceremony of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, which was won by Ivory Coast.
The Ivorians won their third title, beating the Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-1.