U23 AFCON: Sarpong laments the verbal abuse of his family after penalty miss
Ghana defender Edward Sarpong reveals his family have been under attack since his missed penalty at the recent Africa U23 Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt cost the Black Meteors a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
In a third-place play-off shoot-out against South Africa, the Portugal-based left-back blasted his 12-yard effort over the bar, missing a glorious chance to win the match for Ghana.
Had he converted, the Black Meteors would have finished third at the tournament and registered their qualification for the Olympics for the first time since 2004.
“I’ve been insulted massively in my area and it has even affected my family,” Sarpong told Adom FM.
“When my sisters go out they are verbally attacked because everyone in our area knows they are my sisters.
“My mum can’t go out because anytime she comes out, she’s insulted and she was even scared.
“She asked me not to even go out again because she felt people will attack me.”
Right-back Kingsley Fobi and centre-back Emmanuel Cudjoe also missed their kicks for Ghana in the shoot-out but Sarpong has suffered the most abuse, particularly on social media, as his spurned effort arguably changed the game.
“I will like to plead with all Ghanaians especially those who were affected by it, I’m deeply sorry,” said the Esperanca Lagos full-back.
“It wasn’t my intention to miss that penalty. I was convinced I could score and become the hero of the day but God willed it differently.
“So I beg all Ghanaians for forgiveness and I promise that this won’t happen again.”
In the end, Ghana lost the shoot-out on a 6-5 score, the match having ended 2-2 after normal time.
“After the first five kicks, we asked amongst ourselves that who [was going to take] the next kick,” Sarpong added.
“It was a deliberation between the players but everyone was reluctant to answer the call so I decided to take it.
“I have always been pretty good at spot-kicks in training and for my club and I was confident I was going to score but unfortunately I missed.”
It was Ghana’s second straight penalty shoot-out defeat at the championship, having similarly lost to Cote d’Ivoire in the semi-final.