Despite providing top quality working conditions to such coaches not forgetting the abundant talent that oozes from the earth, the results have been short of expectation. The nation is yet to win an African title since winning in 1982 despite making huge strides by qualifying to the World Cup on three straight occasions and reaching the quarterfinals. Recently departed Coach Avram Grant comes across easily as the most loathed expat closely followed by money hungry Milovan Rajevac with his shenanigans during his time on the job. The Israeli barely spent time in Ghana and worsened the already strained relationship by making derogatory comments to the countrymen when quizzed. Since his departure, several calls have been made for a “local” or more appropriately Ghanaian trainer to lead the Stars.
The likes of former Coach Kwesi Appiah, Abdul Razak and Mohammed Polo’s names have surfaced as likely candidates to take the big job. As compelling as the opportunity to coach one of Africa’s best sides is, Ghanaian trainers must avoid picking up the Black Stars job particularly Appiah who was at the helm when Ghana got its name into the history books for the wrong reason when players threatened to boycott the final group game against Portugal at the 2014 World Cup. Coaches must stay away from the job to avoid another embarrassment because Ghana, believe me, is still infatuated with anything and everything foreign including the Black Stars top job.
Tempers are still on the up in light of Ghana’s poor showing at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon in January so it is quite understandable for vocal calls to be made for a local coach after many failed “foreign” experiments. Riding on popular vote to appoint a Ghanaian coach ahead of a more deserving candidate say Herve Renard, sets a bad tone for the coach’s reign. His or in a highly improbable case, her appointment, will always be met with chagrin based on the appointment coming by way of nationality not competence. Lets face fact Ghana is broke. Now broke might cast a supremely dire picture on the country’s outlook but that is the truth.
Ghana is deep in debt to her neck for the country to shell out $70,000 a month through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation to cater to a foreign coach like Grant. As such, the more logical thing to do to save money to settle other arrears, will be to appoint a Ghanaian coach who is almost bound to take a sizable cut in monthly wages. For comparison sake, Kwesi Appiah’s time as Coach cost Ghana $25,000 which is half of what Grant was reportedly paid after every four weeks .
The Nana Akuffo-Addo led government has promised a lot with the recent budget increasing allocation money to the Sports Ministry from 22 million to 45 million dollars on top of huge promises to deliver free Senior High School education and industries for every district. Money is needed to fund all these ambitious projects and with the same government promising to cut borrowing, paying for these projects has to come from austere measures like hiring a Ghanaian coach over a foreign one. Ghanaian coaches interested in coaching the Black Stars should bear in mind the current state of the average Ghanaian football fan is geared towards appointing one of their own but the situation is temporal.
Ghanaians are vexed with doling out huge money in exchange for bad performances and results but as quickly as most have called for Kwesi Appiah’s return, a huge lot from the same pot, called for his sack after happenings in Brazil. Unlike Germany and other world leading football nations, who stick with their countrymen through the highs and lows, Ghana’s position is fickle and susceptible to drastic changes.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah