Goal looks at some Ghanaian footballers whose marriages have recently become the subject of public ridicule and scorn, some of them once exemplary. What could have gone wrong?
By Sammie Frimpong
Nice beings they are, eh?
Unfortunately, though, a number of Ghanaian footballers have not found them entirely so in recent times. In the space of under a year, at least four past and present Ghana internationals have seen their marriage lives grow unsavoury, their dirty linen being washed very much in public.
Sometime in 2013, one-time Black Stars regular full-back John Paintsil found himself embroiled in a widely publicised case of domestic violence after allegedly assaulting his wife physically, and thus had to endure a few hours in police custody as a consequence. His motives remain largely unknown till now but, at least, he does have his marriage intact - or so it seems.
Next up was former Ghana youth star Nii Odartey Lamptey who, after having the presence of mind to request a DNA-based paternity test on his three surviving kids, had the shock of being informed he had indeed fathered none, giving much credence to his suspicions of infidelity on the part of his wife of 20 years, Gloria. Last we heard, Lamptey was heading for a divorce.
Speaking of divorces, how soon could one forget about John Mensah's own troubles in that regard? The Black Stars' general captain (heck, is he still holding on to that title?) recently parted legally with his wife, reportedly due to Mensah's supposed unfaithfulness as well as his perceived neglect of the upkeep of the couple's four children. John, 31, had been married to Henrietta for some 16 years.
And then there is the latest case, involving former Olympique Marseille striker Arthur Moses. It was widely reported earlier this week that Moses' ex-wife had been granted a hefty divorce settlement package that is believed to include, among other things, some real estate. Moses, who also played professionally in Germany, is probably still reeling from the verdict.
That all four men above are relatively mature and have been with their spouses for considerable lengths of time makes for interesting analysis, especially for those who opine that a footballer's life would only be better and more serene if he settles down. Not that this writer is arguing otherwise, though.
Private as these matters are before they eventually become public fodder, it is truly hard to lay the blame on one party; for all you know, the guys could be almost as culpable as the ladies.
Generally, though, it has been argued in certain quarters that footballers in their prime ought to be wary of marrying ladies on evidence of little else besides their physical allure. On the other hand, women are encouraged to look beyond the prestige and wealth flashy footballing upstarts offer and instead do some thorough character inspection first.
Well, then again, this isn't a site for marriage counseling, is it?
Pardon me for thinking a bit too loud, then.