With one bullish and ruthless move by the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the whole Ghana seem to be smiling. Perhaps a new year resolution fufilled by saying bye bye to one of the nation’s loathed servants. The trending news on Thursday night January 2, 2020 was that, “The GFA has dissolved the technical teams of all national teams with immediate effect”.
The decision affects both male and female national teams including the Senior National Team, The Black Stars.
Though it is a mass exodus, the biggest casualty amongst them is Coach James Akwasi Appiah, the gaffer of the Black Stars who the GFA per this statement have decided not to extend his contract which ended in December 2019, much to the excitement of many Ghanaian football loving fans per feedback on social media.
It looks like a wish granted, and already people are hailing GFA President Kurt Okraku and his new administration for this bold decision.
These reactions explains one thing, Akwasi Appiah’s second coming as the Black Stars Coach was not well received by Ghanaians. He was an unwelcomed guest much like an Israelite in Samaria.
Calls for his sack has been loud and clear especially after a dismal showing at AFCON 2019 and the utterances of then NC Chairperson Dr. Kofi Amoah, going into the tournament even made it louder.
In an interview on Adom TV’s Fire for Fire with Countryman Songo prior to AFCON 2019, Dr. Kofi Amoah said, “Per the contract, if Akwasi Appiah doesn’t win the AFCON 2019, he is gone. He can also be sacked during the competition if he is performing poorly because coaches can be fired at any time”, so it didn’t come as a surprise when football fans demanded that Akwasi Appiah should be axed right after the tournament.
For some, his second appointment was a kick in the wounds of old to trigger new pains. This was the same Akwasi Appiah who had presided over one of the most disgraceful football stories in Ghana’s history, the Brazil 2014 World Cup, fiasco. This gained him more enemies than lovers. There were others who also believed he was simply not good enough for our National team. They argued he lacked the tactical acumen and the technical nous to lead a team as big as the four time AFCON winners.
Appiah’s second appointment didn’t sit well with a lot of Ghanaians and some of the reasons given for his appointment made matters even worse. It was rumuored at the time that he was purely a political appointment with veto from the presidency. Politics in our football? Eyebrows were already raised. He is one of our own and his appointment will save us a lot of thousands of dollars that comes with the appointment of an expatraite tactician. These reasons were well below the parameters of tangibles for many critics who at the time believed Coach Akwasi Appiah in his first term failed the litmus test so why appoint him again if we really are a serious football nation as we pride ourselves to be.
Therefore, this news of not technically extending his contract after its expiration is a welcome and a refreshing one to some Ghanaians who have longed demanded his sack. It is a piece of good news for those who believe it’s time we restored the pride associated with our beloved Black Stars.
Coach Appiah did his best but his best was not enough for his over 25million paymasters. Paraphrasing the last paragraph of GFA’s statement, we extend our appreciation to Coach Akwasi Appiah for his contributions to the Black Stars and Ghana football. We wish him all the best in his endeavors.
Written by : Qwesi Nabila Zakariah, Kobby Kyei Sports News