Former Ghana U-17 captain, Sebastian Barnes says he retired prematurely from playing football because of the huge criticism he suffered from Ghanaians after Nigeria beat Ghana 2-1 in the U17 world Cup in Japan 1993.
Ghanaians heavily criticized Sebastian Barnes for contributing to Nigerian’s two goals that led to the Golden Eaglets flying home with the coveted trophy safely in their grasp.
In an interview with Dan K. Pobi ‘Okocha’ on Plan-B FM weekend sports show, the former Hearts of Oak player said he was left traumatized and dejected after the tournament.
“I wasn’t responsible for those two goals. If you go back and watch the video, you would see it wasn’t my fault. I was accused of playing against the team. I felt so sad, traumatized and dejected,” he said
“I was neglected and that led to my early retirement from the game in 2002. I felt so sad”. He added.
The former Bayer Leverkusen player is calling on the GFA to structure a retirement plan for payers and its members.
“Recently I met some of my former colleagues and I wasn’t happy at all. The tales of retired footballers going through extreme difficulty to fend for themselves after retiring from the game is worrying. I will propose to the FA to set up a pension scheme for Ghanaian players before they retire,” He said
Barnes began his career with Hearts of Oak before playing for top-level German teams Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FSV Mainz 05.
In 1997, Barnes played for the Orlando Sundogs in the USISL A-League.
After leaving Mainz in 1998, Barnes played for a number of lower league German clubs, including VfL Hamm/Sieg and SF Neitersen.