Emmanuel Osei Kuffour was on Friday 11 January, 2002 entrusted with the mantle of leading the team to the Nations Cup in Mali.

The decision was reached by the Stars’ technical team in consultation with the Ghana Football Association (GFA) prior to the team’s meeting with the president at the time, J.A. Kufuor at his residence.

According to a GFA source, the issue of the Stars’ captaincy resurfaced when the team was scheduled to meet with the then President of the Republic of Ghana. It therefore became imperative for the authorities to choose a leader there and then to be the spokesman for the Stars during the interaction with the President.

After consultation among the team’s officials, the lot fell on Emmanuel Kuffour  Kuffour possibly got the nod particularly due to the fact that he had played the role of spokesman for the team prior to that decision.

This is in addition to the fact that the intelligent utility player captained the Black Stars during the two crucial World Cup qualifiers against the Super Eagles of Nigeria last year in 2001.

The Black Stars captaincy void was created when head coach Fred Osam-Duodu excluded former skipper C.K. Akunnor from his provisional squad.

This compelled the FA to prevail upon deputy skipper, Samuel Osei Kuffour, to assume full responsibilities as the new Stars captain. However, series of talks with the Bayern Munich defender on the issue fell on the rocks as the player turned down the offer.

Just like the Biblical tale of a rejected stone becoming the cornerstone, Emmanuel Osei Kuffour was nearly dropped from the Stars final team to Mali but for Stephen Appiah’s muscle injury.