Here we go again with the latest guessing game in Ghana football. Who will fill the vacant position head coach of the Black Stars? When one seriously considers the “political war” that has plagued soccer in this country in recent times, it can be assumed that unless the president of the republic himself publicly declares the identity of Mr. X, it would be taken for granted or as a big joke by observers.
Curiously, the names that have come up so far are not new to African football. But there are two clear favourites to get the nod ahead of an assortment of names. Do you remember Claude Le Roy? He is the man credited with two world cup qualification tickets for the indomitable lions of Cameroon. The franco-flavou cannot be lost on Ghanaian’s since the overwhelming view is that the pillars of world football is dominated by the Italian, Brazilian, German, and French systems.
Whilst some people might argue that the English, Spanish and Dutch league offer a lot of Saturday afternoon excitement, they are yet to make $30,000 a month coach. The impact of conquering the world or indeed European. The language barrier might not be a problem afterall Le Roy speaks an appreciable level of English and German and has worked in quite a number of African countries with a near perfect record. LeRoy cannot be compare to the ”white witch doctor” Phillipe Troussieur in terms of has singular contribution to the success of the game in countries that have engaged his services, but Le Roy is no “small boy” who can be pushed around.
No doubt these and other considerations were discussed at length when the Ghana football Association held a marathon meeting last week. Although no deal has been signed between the GFA and Le Roy, he remains the number one choice of the F.A. The minister responsible for youth and sports Edward Osei Kwaku has been furnished with the requisite details of the French coach and another expatriate man Bukhard Ziese.
The German was the overwhelming favourite to stage a comeback into Ghana football but his inactivity over the past couple of years coupled with a history of disciplinary cases lodged by him, as well as against him, put some fear into the GFA. Otherwise his last salary of $20,000 a month with Zambia would have been increased slightly to accommodate his demand.
MONEY, POLITICES AND PRIORITIES Yet with all the talk of a good foreign coach with a respectable tack record, Ghanaians seem to forget that they are living in a state of HIPC-ness can we afford to pay Le Roy at least $ 25,00.00 a month? The answer is quite simply, we cannot afford not to pay for a descent coach. The non extension of former coach Guissepe Dossena’s (PIC) contract was narrowed down to lack of funds by former sports minister E.T Mensah. You and I know that is child’s talk.
If the Honourable member of parliament for Ningo Prampam was tasked to make $30,000 available every month to ensure the political survival of NDC, would he not do it? Similarly, I am positive that the current sports minister Honourable Osei Kwaku, could do even better if the stakes were raised. But you see stakes have always been raised....it is just that former president Rawlings was not particularly fond of football so the political will was only 50% geared towards sports and especially football.
Just check out the budgetary allocations for sports between 1996 and 2000! Then came positive change and what do we see? Politics, politics, politics.? Fine, we should not be complaining because by nature Ghanaians prefer to jaw jaw rather than claw, claw. If we had difficulty in raising cash for a coach two-three years ago then in our HIPIC stage what should one expect? That is why I think we are all blind to the realities of modern day football.
If a club like......Asante Kotoko can secure a lucrative kit deal for two seasons and honour monthly payments to her expatriate coach why should we paint our faces red with HIPIC paint and cry NO MONEY? Meanwhile the technical director of the GFA coach Frederick Osam Duodo has submitted his technical report on Mali 2002 to the GFA. Portions of the document make interesting reading “for your eyes only” So the apathy, the sleep walking and the ambitions of Ghana football appear as blurred as ever. There is some good news though.......?