Ghanaian MP Isaac Adongo has apologized to Harry Maguire, 11 months after making fun of the Manchester United defender during a parliamentary session.
The former Red Devils captain, who was the butt of jokes in the Ghanaian parliament during a difficult period for Manchester United, has finally received an apology from Adongo.
The politician, who represents the National Democratic Congress, had mocked Maguire at the end of 2022 when the United center-back was struggling at club level despite his success with the England national team in the Qatar World Cup.
Adongo had made the remarks after Ghana’s first World Cup win against South Korea and during a time when the ruling New Patriotic Party was facing criticism for mishandling the economy.
He used a footballing comparison to make a political point during his speech in parliament.
During a budget debate, MP Isaac Adongo likened Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia’s economic management to Maguire’s performances on the pitch.
Bawumia leads the government’s economic management team during a severe economic crisis, with soaring government debt leading to a $3bn loan from the IMF.
Ghana experienced a record 54% inflation in December 2022, which has since dropped to approximately 35%.
Adongo took a jab at Maguire’s poor performance while drawing a comparison to Bawumia’s administration.
Adongo told the Ghana parliament: “If you are a fan of football, and I was happy to see the jubilation when Ghana won, but there was a player in the United Kingdom, in England called Maguire who was playing for Manchester United.”
“Harry Maguire, he’s a defender. He was tackling everybody and throwing his body everywhere. He was seen as the best defender in the world, Manchester United was at the bottom.”
“He became the biggest threat at the center of the Manchester United defense, tackling Manchester players and giving assists to opponents. Mr. Speaker, when you see the opponents go to score, Maguire will score for them.”
Adongo apologized to Harry Maguire
Following Adongo’s initial comments, Maguire has helped Manchester United secure a third-place finish in the Premier League and win the Carabao Cup.
Despite losing the captaincy at Old Trafford over the summer, he has reclaimed his position in the starting lineup while Raphael Varane has been benched.
After not starting in any of Manchester United’s first seven Premier League games this season, Maguire has played the full 90 minutes in each of the last five.
He also earned starts in both Champions League meetings with FC Copenhagen, scoring the winning goal in the home match against the Danish champions in November 9.
Adongo has now expressed a change in his opinion, stating that he wants to set the record straight and praising Maguire as a “transformational footballer” and a “key player” for Manchester United during a budget debate on Tuesday, November 21.
In footage posted by Joy Sports, Adongo clarified the record in a parliament meeting, saying: “You’ll recall that last year I hastily compared my dear brother, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, to Harry Maguire,”
“Mr. Speaker, I must now extend my apologies to Harry Maguire…”
“Today, Maguire has emerged as a standout footballer. He’s now scoring goals for Manchester United. Mr. Speaker, Harry Maguire has become a crucial player for Manchester United.”
Maguire accepts Adongo’s apology
The 30-year-old Manchester United defender has responded to Adongo’s recent comment on his performance.
Maguire shared on social media that he has accepted the politician’s apology and expressed a desire to see him at Old Trafford in the near future.
Meanwhile, some Ghanaians have expressed their opinions on Mr Adongo’s apology, stating that the Manchester United player has shown significant improvement, while the managers of the Ghanaian economy have not. While others believe that such a comparison should not have been made.
Mr Adongo has stated that the Ghanaian government had to raise taxes and tariffs on services as part of their agreement with the IMF.
This decision has sparked widespread anger among voters, leading to protests over the increasing cost of living and unemployment in the country.
Despite this, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) has chosen Mr Bawumia as its candidate for the 2024 elections.
If elected, he would be the first Muslim to contest the presidency under the NPP’s banner since the restoration of multi-party democracy in 1992.