For some time now Ghanaians papers, television and airwaves are awash with serious debates over the need to either choose a Ghanaian or a foreign football coach for the national soccer team the Black Stars.
Currently the vetting committee of the Ghana Football Association has shortlisted three coaches including our own Kwesi Appiah one of whom is expected to fill the vacant post left by the Israeli coach Alvan Grant.
Due to the importance of the position of a coach for Ghana, some 132 coaches across the world including legendary England player and coach Gary Nevil, Harry RedKnapp, former Brazil coach Roberto Carlos, coaches Abdul Razak, Bashir Hayford and Kuku Dadzie of Ghana applied for the vacant position.
All but Kwesi Appiah from Ghana and three others remain in the race to take over from Alvan Grant. Ghanaians are divided over who to choose as our new coach. The coach to be selected would be required to prove equal to the tasks ahead of Ghana.
He would be expected to reverse the poor performance of our national team in qualifying matches towards the world cup tournament in Russia next year. The coach to be chosen must brace himself for high expectations from Ghanaian football followers and Ghanaians as a whole.
Many people high and low are rooting for Kwasi Appiah to be chosen over the two foreign coaches. Those in support of Kwasi Appiah include some top notch coaches and stalwarts like former President John Agyekum Kufuor, who feels that the choice of the Ghanaian would be beneficial to the nation and satisfy our desire for local content in our football industry.
There are others rooting for a foreign coach for the Black Stars because according to them the tasks ahead can only be handled by a foreign coach with the requisite knowledge and experience above that of Kwesi Appiah who was booted out for Alvan grant for inexplicable reasons.
But I am all for those in support of Kwasi Appiah for he has the requisite experience and knowledge to handle the Black Stars. Above all he fulfills the important requirement for local content. If some people are in support of foreign coaches due to their pedigrees it is well and good but there is no guarantee that they would be able to get the current team of Black Stars to qualify to take part in the world cup tournament in Russia. Moreover, Kwasi Appiah has done it before by qualifying Ghana to take part in the world cup in South Africa.
Those in support of foreign coaches must get it clear that we cannot continue to rely on foreign expertise after being independent from colonial rule in 1957. Sixty years and counting, we must remember that we, as a nation vowed through Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah our first president, that we are capable of managing our own affairs.
True to this declaration we were able to achieve a lot in football through the guidance of our own Ghanaian coaches. All the four African cups we won were through our own coaches beginning from coach C. K. Gyemfi who took over from a foreign coach. We must follow the footpath of Brazilians who have been running their football through their own administrators and experts.
Through their own coaches they have managed to win many trophies on the world stage and elsewhere in the world. We can adopt their method by appointing an experience hand as a head coach with many others to assist him on the bench. apart from having a goalkeeper’s trainer the national team can appoint others to help in training defenders, midfielders and strikers. The 50,000dollars salary a month that was paid to Alvan Grant can be shared to them. With this move, we would get many of our good coaches employed with good security of tenure.
Their new roles would keep them busy, take away worries and their lives prolonged. It is a fact that most of those rooting for foreigners have vested interest in it. It is alleged that some local people in responsible positions have been getting some cuts from the foreign coaches. To bring this to an end there is the need for a law to be enacted in future to force the hands of the Ghana Football Association to employ Ghanaian coaches for the national team. This if done would safeguard our sovereignty and our pride as a truly independent nation, capable of managing our affairs.
By: Abdulai Alhasan