Former Black Stars of Ghana and Hearts of Oak forward Charles Asampong Taylor has revealed that Taribo West threatened to break his leg during a 2002 World Cup qualifier in Accra.
Taylor, who was in impressive form at that time was selected alongside his Hearts of Oak teammates for the qualifier against the Super Eagles in 2001.
Despite fielding mostly home-based players, the Black Stars held a star-studded Super Eagles team to a goalless draw.
Taylor’s trickery caught the attention of West, who was feared by most strikers because of his fierce looks and hard tackles.
And reflecting on the game Taylor, in an interview with Dan Kweku Yeboah TV on YouTube as quoted by Ghanaweb said:”We [Hearts of Oak players] were surprised when they mentioned our names that we were the ones going to face Nigeria when Baffour Gyan was the only foreign-based player to join us.
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“I was afraid when I saw Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, and the likes because they were playing for big teams in Europe and I was watching them on TV and that’s the truth. And I remember discussing my fears with Ishmael Addo during the warm up.
“But I overcame that fear when after the first half I realized that the Nigerians were afraid of me. I remember Taribo West walked to me and asked the team I play for in Europe but upon telling him that I play for Hearts of Oak, he threatened to break my leg if I keep dribbling them.”
Both teams met in the final qualifying game in Port Harcourt which the Eagles won thanks to a brace from Tijani Babangida and a strike from Victor Agali.
The win saw the Eagles quality for the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by South Korea and Japan.
It was the Eagles’ third consecutive qualification to the World Cup after making her debut at the 1994 edition in the United States.
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