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The untold story of Kwasi Appiah’s sacking in his first stint

Kwasi Appiah Sports Check Former Black Stars coach Kwasi Appiah

Tue, 4 Feb 2020 Source: mufnabila.wordpress.com

Kwasi Appiah was notified of his sacking on phone and not on a one-on-one conversation. An official letter terminating his appointment was subsequently sent to him, and a severance package was paid.

In his book, ‘Leaders Don’t Have To Yell’ Appiah alleges that former President John Dramani ordered his sack, and that he was invited to the office of the GFA President and offered that as the reason he was being asked to drop his tools as head of the Black Stars technical team.

Per the facts available to Muftawu Nabila Abdulai as gathered on his return in April, 2017, it appears more of rumour documented.

Yes. Former GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi and former Ghana President, John Dramani Mahama had a conversation about the technical team’s abilities to win AFCON 2015.

But, on September 11, 2014, when the Ghana Football Association (GFA) headed by its former President, Kwesi Nyantakyi took the decision to relieve Kwasi Appiah of his duties, he had failed to agree to suggestions made by his employers on how the Black Stars could win the next tournament.

It was not shocking to many. But, it was shocking to others because his contract was renewed prior to the World Cup in Brazil; a World Cup Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana sold shame to the world instead of their flamboyant football that earned them the nickname ‘Africa Brazil.’

Kwasi Appiah, then head coach of the team was taken to the cleaners for the poor showing. He chose the players who ‘stabbed the nation in cold blood’ as Fiifi Anaman put it in his award winning publication in 2015.He could not control the team, they said.

However, he had the backing of leadership of the Ghana FA to lead the country’s biggest asset, to the dismay of his critics and that of the FA. Some said his post match press conference explaining his reasons for benching experienced players for Ghana’s opening game against USA, was a testimony of a square peg in a round hole.

The GFA chose to beef up his technical team instead of replacing him. Names flew in the air.

Prior to Ghana’s AFCON 2015 qualifier against Uganda; his first of post world cup 2014, a game the four times Afcon champions showed how drab they could be, Kwasi Appiah told the media he had not asked for a technical director.

Kwesi said it was not his idea for a technical director, he added that: ‘If the nation has money to hire ten advisers’ he welcomes them.

This irked many members of the Ghana FA. But, prior to this comment, Kwasi Appiah chose the late Ben Koufi to be his technical director, sources said in 2017. It was a decision the Management Committee of the senior national team described as ‘shocking.’

Allsports.com.gh now pulse.com.gh/sports reported that Mr. Appiah’s job was on the line should he lose to Togo after that embarrassing output against the Uganda Cranes. Despite a 3-2 victory, Appiah still lost his job.

Mr. Kojo Yankah explained that he was sacked because he disrespected the FA.

However, Appiah in his memoir: ‘Leaders Don’t Have To Yell’ alleged that former President of the Republic of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama was behind the decision.

“Kwasi Nyantakyi called me to his office that day and informed me that he had been asked by the President of the nation to relieve me of my duties.

When decisions about the national team staff became that heavily-politicised, it was very clear to me that the political machine was flexing its muscles to make me a scapegoat”. Appiah is quoted by Ghanaweb.

Per the information gathered by Muftawu Nabila Abdulai when he returned in April 2017 for a second tenure, Kwasi Appiah was notified of his sacking on phone and not a one-on-one conversation. Realising that information reached Appiah following an Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting on his future, Mr. Nyantakyi placed a phone call to notify him of the then ExCo’s decision.

But, before that decision was taken, Mr. Nyantakyi and John Dramani Mahama had a discussion where the President asked if Ghana could win Afcon 2015.

Sources claim that then GFA President suggested a technical support for Mr. Appiah would boost the Black Stars’ chances.

He later confided in his then Vice President, George Afriyie and owner of Liberty Professionals, Felix Ansong the conversation he had with the President of the land.

Few days later, then Minister of Youth and Sports, Mahama Ayariga asked the GFA to come up with proposals on how to beef up the technical capacity of handlers of the Black Stars.

The Ghana FA sent a proposal to employ a technical director to support the work of Kwasi Appiah which was accepted. The government then, was committed to ending Ghana’s failure to win an AFCON and was willing to support the GFA achieve that objective.

The GFA asked Kwasi Appiah to nominate a candidate of his choice. Surprisingly, he nominated Mr Ben Kuofie (now of blessed memory) as his technical director.

The GFA rejected the nomination with the explanation that, Ben Koufi had been inactive for years and was not the best option to offer technical advice for the modern game.

Appiah was reluctant to change, and they reached a conclusion that he was not ready to work with a technical director. With doubts surrounding his capabilities to individually lead the team to win the Afcon in Morocco, which was later changed to Equatorial Guinea, he was dismissed.

It is unclear if the alleged conversation between Kwesi Nyantakyi and John Dramani Mahama on how Ghana could win AFCON 2015 is what Mr. Appiah documented in his book, ‘Leaders Don’t Have To Yell’ but what is definite is that sources insist there was a conversation, but what has been documented is rumour and not factual as Mr. John Dramani Mahama had no hand in the decision.

Though the two could discuss on how Ghana could win any major tournament and what it would take the country to win, it remains a rumour that Mr. Mahama asked for his axing as there’s no verification of such discussion on his axing, though Appiah might have his sources.

Someone whom many believe would have been an obvious choice for the allegations to be leveled against is the then Sports Minister, Mahama Ayariga because he reportedly called the GFA President to make a change if Mr. Appiah was not willing to cooperate on the technical director idea.

Mr. Appiah revealed that he reached out to former President John Agyekum Kufuor for an opportunity to work at the Black Stars after a vacancy was created following then head Coach Claude Le Roy’s decision to sack one of his assistants.

Claude Le Roy never sacked any of his assistants: Sellas Tetteh and Herve Renard. These two were the assistants of Claude Le Roy. Sellas Tetteh was handed the Black Satellites job and he won the every single trophy in their age category. WAFU, CAF U20 and World U20.

Herve Renard left. He was never sacked.

Appiah was hand picked to be part of the Black Stars backroom staff after then Sports Minister, (name withheld) spoke to Kwesi Nyantakyi on the request of Mr. J.A Kufuor who wanted the GFA to employ him. That was the genesis of how he grew to become the Black Stars head coach in 2012 after the sacking of Goran Stevanovic.

The FA took him on the basis of political expediency via President J.A Kufuor. His CV? His certificate? No one considered that as he allegedly had only a Juvenile Coaching Licence.

The former Al Khartoum SC Coach return was also allegedly politically motivated as media claim it was influenced by politicians.

Appiah led Ghana to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the first indigenous coach to achieve that and was paid qualification bonus of about $300,000.

His second tenure was considered a success as Black Stars exited the 2019 African cup of nations at the round of 16 stage. The new GFA led by Kurt Okraku took the decision not to renew his contract after it expired on December 31, 2019.

His role has been replaced by Charles Kwablan Akonnor whom he hired as his assistant in November 2019.

The decision not to renew his contract, they say, was also a political decision from the new leadership of the country’s football governing body.

The appointment of Charles Kwablan Akonnor, they say needed political approval.

Main stream have saturated the football the Black Stars atmosphere and letting go the political angle of how he got into the Black Stars could have saved him of the political affiliations he’s been subjected to.

Source: mufnabila.wordpress.com
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