Jerome Otchere writes: Kurt Okraku on GTV Sports+

Kurt Okraku.jpeg Kurt Okraku, GFA president

Mon, 18 Apr 2022 Source: footballghana.com

One-man Technical Directorate at the Ghana Football Association (GFA): How was the directorate expected to execute its task?

That was the first question I put to former GFA Technical Director, Oti Akenteng, on claims by GFA President, Kurt Okraku that, when his administration assumed office in October 2019, the GFA Technical Directorate was non-existent. Even if it existed, it was a lone-man enterprise.

Oti Akenteng confirmed what Kurt said. “Technical Directorate entails a lot” he said. “It encompasses administration, coaching, medical, and refereeing, women’s football, youth football, futsal, etc.” Oti Akenteng explained the circumstances under which he worked with assistance from Didi Dramani, late L. O. Laryea and others subsequently.

Assessment of Oti Akenteng must be in the context of challenges he faced. What the situation is now, under Bernard Lippert, who wanted a 26-man staff, according to Kurt; will tell us where we’re headed. Oti Akenteng supported Lippert’s request, saying, “Countries like South Africa has in excess of 20 people at such directorates”.

There’s no question that our football has been unfit. Watching ‘physician’ Kurt Okraku closely with ace sports broadcaster, Karl Tufuoh on GTV Sports+ on Friday night; I saw an FA President who hasn’t been overwhelmed by the arduous task confronting his administration to make the game fully fit to compete favourably worldwide.

Kurt’s seems to be weathering the storm. The waters are still rough; neither calm nor easy for a smooth sail. Things Kurt said are all verifiable. The World Cup qualification was vital. It’s changed looks of the Black Stars, erasing bitter memories of their failed AFCON 2021 bid. In Kurt’s two years, other national teams have had relative success.

Kurt touted enhanced communications media relations, revamped juvenile football, growing of young referees, building coaches’ capacities as evidence of good work. These have rings of truth on them. He was in no denial that, there’s more to be done. Women’s football admittedly has a facelift but its present state is far from home.

Our Premier, Division One and Two Leagues all have fundamental problems with organisation and sponsorship. That’s where Kurt’s administration must exert more energy to change the status quo. The success of football nations mostly rests on developmental structures at the base, not the tip of their pyramid of growth.

Good infrastructure, viability of domestic leagues, and financial investments need more and more attention – not national team performances which ultimately will been seen in international matches – if the right things are being done back home.

The construction and maintenance of pitches urgently need a national rethink. I hope the catch-them-young refereeing policy births desired results because current brand of referees offer little or no hope. Refereeing hinges on integrity and the resolve to apply rules dispassionately. It’s on this note I provide my verdict on Kurt’s interview.

But for Covid-19, which this GFA, like many businesses, has battled to stay afloat, we would’ve perhaps had better output by the FA. There’s work to be done to salvage our football. More resources must deliberately be committed to growing the local game while the FA carefully keeps communication doors opened; consciously maintain good relations with stakeholders – not least the public.

This is what I expect. That way, the benefits, will be a lot and mutual. Kurt’s somber, well-thought-out answers to questions on Friday night, showed a stark departure from his post-AFCON 2021 interview, where a seemingly conceited posturing did him and the GFA a Public Relations disservice. On Friday night, he scored 5/10 marks.


Source: footballghana.com
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