Former Black Stars first choice goal-tender, Richard ‘Olele’ Kingson, must have left viewers of Prophet T.B. Joshua’s Emmanuel TV and the large congregation of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Sunday in awe following his revelation that he rejected a bribe of $300,000 to throw a match at Ghana’s maiden World Cup in Germany.
In his testimony before the Church in Lagos where he had gone with his wife of 15 years to thank God and the Bishop for a recent deliverance, the former Stars’ goal ace did not mince words he pleaded that he be given the time to reveal a secret that he and the wife had kept since the Germany World Cup in 2006.
The secret: According to Olele, he was approached with $300,000 to throw Ghana’s second group match against the Czech Republic, then rated number two in the world, by conceding two goals. That is, he should allow the Czechs to win the match 2-0.
“I got confused weighing the options of getting richer by $300,000 after that match, whereas all that I would get in the event of a Ghana victory would be much less, just $8,000,’’ Kingson recounted.
According to Kingson, he then decided to consult his wife, Adelaide, who was residing nearby on the knotty and intriguing issue. “But my wife said, ‘Richard I love you not because of your money, so don’t get tempted by this offer to lose your dignity and credibility’ ’’.
To the veteran goalie who was rated among the top three goal tenders in Germany 2006 World Cup, his wife’s admonition was gospel and he acted accordingly, going into the match with a very clear conscience and never allowing any ball to go past him.
Eventually, the Stars who would have lost 0-2 in the match had Olele fallen to the bribe influence, rather turned the scores in their favour, thanks to the superlative goalkeeping by him on the day.
It will be recalled that after the historic victory over the Czechs, Ghana went on to beat the USA 2-1 in their last group match to qualify for the second round along with Italy who gave them a baptism of fire (2-0) in their debut game at the World Cup.
Incidentally, Italy became champions for the fourth time at the Germany tournament, beating France 5-3 after a nail-biting penalty shoot-out.