OPINION: C.K Akonnor cannot be blamed entirely for the Black Stars woes

Bawa Abdul Mugis of Sagani TV
Bawa Abdul Mugis of Sagani TV

You did not need a rocket science, to have known that the decision to settle on C.K Akonnor as the successor to Kwesi Appiah, was a big gamble.

The description of C.K’s appointment as a ‘big Gamble’ was not meant to belittle his intelligence, but, his ability to shrug off all the factors that inevitably would have hampered his success as the head coach of the senior national team .

Factors such as, interference by some heavy powers from GFA and government, managing egos of some players and withstanding the pressure to stop extending invitations to non performing senior players.

Indeed, C.K made a pledge to Ghanaians to anticipate what he termed as “Entertaining football” in his first media encounter after he was officially announced head coach of Black Stars. Not many people were convinced at the time, considering the disappointment the stars subjected the nation to, in the 2014 World Cup and 2019 AFCON respectively.

Fast forward when his reign began, people who have the technical know how, started punching holes in his style and approach to games, positioning of players in the field as well as the criteria for selecting players into the Black Stars.

Speculations went rife that C.K didn’t have a total command on player call ups into the national team, but even if that was the case, the coach should have been bold enough to point it out.

Percentage wise, C.K would have remained coach of Black Stars, because, he won 4 out of the 10 matches he was in charge, qualifying the team to the next AFCON in Cameroon, but he was completely at loss with his handling of the team, having been outplayed at home to Ethiopia thanks to a good goal by Wakaso which secured us the 3 points. Again, Ghanaians raised concerns relative to the teams performance, C.K in his response, claimed the points was the most important thing.

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Furthermore, rumors of a feud with FA boss, Kurt Okraku were all over social media, believed to be circulated by closed associates of C.K Akunnor but it was denied by both parties, although my sources confirmed it was true.

C.K stated emphatically in his pre-match conference against South Africa that he had adopted all the game plan needed to brush aside the Bafana Bafana, only for us to witness an embarrassing, unconvincing and disastrous performance ever by Black stars, resulting in a defeat in Johannesburg.

Fear and panic gripped most soccer loving fans, with many calling for the head of the coach whiles others completely write off the Black stars chances of qualification to Qatar 2022 World Cup.

In all sincerity, C.K at this point should have done the Honorable thing, by stepping down to allow for a new coach to take over because it was now obvious the team was bigger than his competence, his influence was also much i do about nothing,but he remained steadfast until the executive council of the FA, fired him and his assistants in this bizarre manner. But must he be blamed entirely for the struggles of the one time nation unifier (Black stars) ? Certainly not. Here is why!


Before the appointment of C.K Akunnor, we were told the FA presented a list of coaches they deemed fit to succeed Kwesi Appiah to the government, through the sports Ministry, however, Isaac Asiamah, Minister for youth and sports at the time, rejected the list and proposed C.K, a local coach. Speculations had it that, the GFA were forced to accept C.K as the new head coach, on grounds that government cannot budget for an expatriate coach.

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Then came another issue of dictating to the head coach, who should be call up into the squad in either friendly matches or qualifiers, by some powers within the FA, resulting in a serious misunderstanding between Kurt and C.K.

There was a clear case of interference in the coach’s work by some elements within the government and GFA. The head coach was not allowed to independently discharge his duties.

Also, the failure of the FA, to put in place a working document for every future coach is a major concern. Every coach comes with a different set of philosophy, resulting in lack of direction for the senior national team.

There is no transitional plan after the Muntari’s ,Appiah’s, Essien’s and co, who justified their inclusion into the Black stars after great exploits in the U:17s and U:20s, we cannot boast of any set of footballers who are capable of competing at the highest level.

More worrying, is the fact that, we’ve not had majority of our players competing in the top leagues in Europe. If for instance we secure qualification to the next World Cup, who are the players that we can rely on to take the country to even a quarter final stage?

No lesson has been learnt from 2014, where signs of the Black Stars dwindling began to show, we have relaxed, thinking a mere change of a coach will do the magic and bring back the love, but it has been proven that the consistent dismissal of coaches is not the panacea to our problems.

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Both government and the FA must be told not to overstep their boundaries, in their engagement with the Black stars.

Player call-ups into the Black Stars must be the sole prerogative of the coach, so that if at the end they perform or not, he (coach) can be held to account.

The current administration touted a very attractive slogan ‘Bring back the love’ but has so far demonstrated little efforts in winning back the love of Ghanaians towards the Black stars.

The FA must at this point not make winning the AFCON their main priority, but should be focus on developing talents from the juvenile level through to U:17, U:20, U:23 over the next decade, and we would have a bunch of unlimited talents to choose from for the Black Stars.

Otherwise, the current crop of players, cannot win us the AFCON or go far in the next World Cup.

A new coach will be announced latest by tomorrow or Thursday, but trust me let’s lower our expectations, until the right mechanisms are put in place, the success of the next coach is not guaranteed.

By: Bawa Abdul Mugis/Sagani TV



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