Sports Features of 2014-02-06

Come Again Otoo Lartey!

By Ebenezer Nii Ahele Nunoo
Otoo Lartey, self-acclaimed organizer of the Greater Accra Amateur Boxing Association (GAABA), is calling for Ambassador Quarcoo to be voted out of office as the President of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation for non-performance; citing his reasons the Ambassador has spoilt amateur boxing in the country and that boxing had been downhill since he took office on May 27, 2010 and unless replaced by a committed and hardworking Chairman, boxing will not develop in the country. This is an understatement considering the Ambassador’s commitment and personal contributions, both financially and technically, towards development of the sport in the country.
His statements were most unfortunate and mischievous; seeking to negate the enterprise of Ambassador Ray Quarcoo’s administration of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Federation. Otoo Lartey needs to be reminded that on assumption of office, against several challenges, without office space ,equipment and handing over notes, the Ambassador Quarcoo led administration within the shortest possible time assembled a formidable team for the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games where the team won a bronze. Then after, the team also made an impressive show at the AIBA World Championship in Milan Italy.
Five members of the team, namely; Maxwell Amponsah, Yekeni Awusone, Ahmed Sasraku, Prince Octopus Dzanie and Manyo Plange were selected to participate in the AIBA novelty World Series of Boxing, where the boxers are engaged by selected franchises in Asia, North America and Europe and were paid salaries as they participated in a league, but still retaining their Olympic status. Through his instrumentality, the Black Bombers had the opportunity to travel to Australia for a training tour where they engaged their Australian counterparts in two provincial tournaments. In a similar exercise, the team was invited for a joint training by the Azerbaijan Boxing Association prior to the AIBA World Championship in Baku, Azerbaijan, which provided our boxers the much needed exposure leading to the London 2012 Olympic Games.
With the above exposure, the team qualified four boxers at the Africa Olympic Qualifiers Championship in Casablanca, Morocco leading to the London 2012 Olympic Games; as against the preceding 2008 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece where the team failed to qualify a single boxer. Those qualified were Duke Micah, Maxwell Amposah,Sulemana Tetteh and Isaac Dogboe; a UK-based Ghanaian scouted by Ambassador Quarcoo, who borne the travelling expenses of both Dogboe and Lerrone Richards; another UK –based Ghanaian to join the team in Ghana for the justifiers. They arrived inAccra from London on 10th February 2012 to take part in the national Olympic trials before Dogboe gainedqualification to the African Olympic qualifiers inCasablanca, Morocco
He won a silver medal in the bantamweight weight division at the African Championship in Morocco to emerge as the youngest boxer ever to compete at that level in Africa. Dogboemade history by becoming one of the youngest boxers ever to have fought on the Olympic platform on Saturday, 28th July, 2012.
Technically, with his personal efforts Ambassador Quarcoo through the courtesy of the German Olympic Sports Commission and the German Embassy in Accra, the GABF hosted a German Boxing Expert, who conducted a two week training workshop on the current trends of the sport for our local coaches at the Accra Sports Stadium. From his own resources, Ambassador Quarcoo fully sponsored Mr.Akai Washington Nettey to travel to Assisi, Italy to attend a two week 3 Star Certification Training Workshop, in compliance to the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA)’s directives that only 3 Star Certificated Coaches would be allowed in the corner of boxers at all events organized by AIBA.It is very interesting to know that Coach Ofori Asare is the only Ghanaian coach with 3 Star qualification. Referring to the Raymond Narhs, Anyetei Laryeas and others, Otoo Lartey wanted us to believe that their days at the amateur were the best that happened to Ghana boxing on the international arena. Without any prejudice or an attempt to demean the performance of the above mentioned, the fact remains thatGhana’s medal haul since first participating in the Olympics in Helsinki, Finland in1952 is only four. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Raymond Narh, Ben Neequaye, Osumanu Adama and Charles Adamu, failed to make it beyond the second round
However, it is heartening to know that out of the four medals boxing and football are the only disciplines to give the country these medals – boxing has three while that Barcelona 1992 Bronze-winning feat by the Black Meteors gives football one. Ghana has never won gold at the Olympics. Light-welterweight boxer Clement Quartey won Ghana’s most valuable and only silver medal at the Rome 1960 Games; followed by Eddie Blay Snr, a light-welterweight boxer, who won the country the second bronze medal at the Tokyo Games in 1964. At the 1972 Munich Games, Prince Amartey, a middleweight boxer secured Ghana’s third Olympic (bronze) medal being the last individual medalist for Ghana in the Olympics so far. Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey are two Ghanaians likely to have broken lull and added to the medal haul but could not have the opportunity to participate as the country boycotted the next two Games in Montreal and Moscow. Ghana boycotted the 1976 Games to protest the apartheid regime in South Africa. The country also joined the American-led boycott of the 1980 Games. Ghana would have gotten medals at these Games as Azumah Nelson and Ike Quartey were at their peak as amateurs then. Mr.Otoo Lartey knows too well that during this period under review, Ambassador Quarcoo was actively engaged and associated with the GABF.
Ghana qualified six boxers at the African Qualifiers for the 2008 Beijing OlympicGames behind Algeria and Morocco. The qualified boxers were Manyo Plange, Ahmed Saraku,Issah Samir, Prince Dzanie, Samuel Kotey Neequaye and Bastir Samir.The Beijing 2008 Games saw a dip in Ghana’s performance once again. The best of the six boxers presented were Manyo Plange and Samir Bastir, who reached the second round.
London 2012 Games witnessed Ghana parading 4 boxers, Isaac Dogboe, Sulemanu Tetteh, Maxwell Amponsah and Duke Micah. Of the 4 boxers presented, Maxwell Amponsah pulled out with injury; Duke Micah and Sulemanu Tetteh reached the second round, whiles Isaac Dogboe lost in a controversial verdict of which concern was raised by the entire boxing fraternity at the Games.
A comparative analysis of the facts resented above is indicative of the reality that Otoo Lartey is being pushed on by his selfish desires. His fraudulent and dubious boxing event promotion involving the Algerian boxers at the Accra has not been forgotten
Source: Nunoo, Ebenezer Nii Ahele
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