Former goalkeeper of the Ghana black stars and Accra Hearts of Oak; Ali Jaraa, has chastised young footballers to be mindful of the seasonality of football and life as a whole.
The former goalkeeper was featured on the Survivor’s series segment on Prime morning show, hosted by Emefa Adeti.
Speaking on the show, Ali Jaraa emphasized on the fact that prowess in football can often be short lived, and very often, lasts for only a season. Some players, he said, are fortunate to have longer careers, while others are bound to have shorter ones due to injuries and accidents; as was the case in his situation.
“You may have a long season or a short season. You need to be aware of the fact that injuries can come at anytime and your career can come to a halt”.
Ali recollected his own story. In 1993 just after returning from Japan with a Silver medal, the goalkeeper got paralyzed, after just 3 years of playing professionally.
“After Japan, I had a week to prepare for Germany. I complained of back pain. I reported to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and was later diagnosed of a strange paralysis after just two days in the hospital”. That was the end of my career. “With absolute numbness and immobility, I could not return to the field”.
He admonished current players to make the most of their income, investing in high return ventures and their children if they have any.
According to Ali, the Ghana Football association assisted with his travel to the UK for treatment but when all seemed irreversible, he was left to his own fate.
“Even friends I helped when I was in my element were not forth-coming” he said. “It was just a matter of time before my salary from Hearts of Oak was blocked with no initial notice or information”.
“People will neglect you in dire situations! Learn to work with everything you have and plan for the future! Football is not forever, it’s seasonal”, Ali advised.