Black Meteors defender, Edward Sarpong, has recounted his ordeal after missing a penalty kick against South Africa in the just ended U23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
According to the 22-year-old Portimonense defender, he has received a lot of insults and attacks on social media.
“I have encountered numerous instances of insults because I’m well known in my area, my mother and sisters are being attacked when they go out. So my mother even told me to remain indoors since she is afraid someone will hurt me,” he said.
Speaking with Alex Kobina Stonne on Adom FM’s Sports Page 2 programme, Sarpong disclosed that he took the penalty because, after the first five kicks, nobody was willing to step up.
“The reason why I took the penalty was that, after the first five kicks, we the players asked ourselves that who is ready to play the next kick; nobody responded so I decided to go and take the ball and play. I was courageous because I have been scoring penalty kicks at training and outside Ghana,” he said.
“I felt uncomfortable when I missed because I have seen some before; for example how people reacted when Asamoah Gyan missed his kick. I also felt bad because, I wanted to make myself, family and country proud which I couldn’t.”
According to Sarpong, after insults from Ghanaians, his family has also been in danger following several attacks on his mother and sister.
The 22-year-old Portimonense defender has vowed to challenge himself by learning more on how to improve when it comes to penalty kicks.
“I’m young; I’m just 22 years so I will continue to play penalty kicks anytime I get the chance to do so. I am ever ready to go and learn more to improve in terms of penalty taking; I want to prove myself wrong,” he said.
He apologised to Ghanaians for the unfortunate incident.
“My apology to all Ghanaians; all those who were hurt, my family and myself. It wasn’t my intention to miss the penalty, I indeed wanted to score. Ghanaians should forgive me; I promise this will not happen again,” he said.
While Emmanuel Lomotey, Evans Mensah, Issah Abass, Samuel Obeng and Zakaria Fuseini converted for Ghana, Kingsley Fobi, Sarpong and Emmanuel Cudjoe missed handing the victory to the South Africans who themselves missed two of their eight kicks.