Michael Osei, nicknamed Ember Power, a former striker for Kumasi Asante Kotoko, has refuted suggestions that black magic (juju) had a big impact on the club’s heartbreaking loss to Accra Hearts of Oak in the 2004 CAF Confederations Cup final.
The game’s pivotal moment for Asante Kotoko has frequently been attributed to the replacement of then-presidential candidate Charles Taylor.
Many thought that Accra Hearts’ juju spells had entranced German coach Hans Dieter-Schmidt, leading Charles Taylor to make that odd decision.
However, Ember Power told Dan Kwaku Yeboah TV that the coach’s choice to bench Charles Taylor was consistent with what he had done the entire season.
Osei Michael Ember Power recalls that anytime Asante Kotoko established a lead in the second half, Dieter-Schmidt’s changes followed a certain form, with all three forwards always making room for three midfielders.
“I don’t agree with claims that the coach was hypnotized by some juju. Everyone has his or her beliefs but I don’t think there was juju in that game. The Germans don’t believe in juju, he believed in the role he gave him. It is the role that determines. The Charles Taylor substitution was consistent with everything the coach did.
“Charles Taylor, Nana Arhin Duah, and I were the front three for Asante Kotoko in the campaign. The coach always took us off in the second half whenever Asante Kotoko was leading. He will then bring on three midfielders to control the game.
“ It wasn’t juju, it was his system. In the first leg, he subbed for me and Arhin Duah and left Charles Taylor. In Kumasi, he subbed me first, then Arhin Duah before Charles Taylor. It was not juju,” he stated.
Ember Power acknowledged that the humiliating loss had a part in his decision to hang up his boots and head to the US.
Ember Power acknowledged that the outcome had upset him deeply and that he had grown impatient with his inability to comprehend the loss.
Accra Hearts of Oak won the inaugural Confederations Cup with an 8-7 penalty shootout result after an overall score of 2-2.
No Ghanaian club has ever advanced to the finals of that competition twenty years later.
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