The obituary of Ghana soccer (Final Part)
Check out the African ringmaster, ‘Senior Professor Azumah Nelson, the man who regard his opponents as his son and thrashes them accordingly. Whenever he is going to fight anywhere in the world, he does so to win honour for Ghana first and foremost, and then himself.
Judging from his visage whenever the Ghana national anthem is being played and the way his muscles are tuned, not forgetting the look in his eyes, his patriotism can best be described as jingoistic.
Even the flag of Ghana stirs him on, transforming him to look like a tiger ready to kill for Mother Ghana, ready to die for the motherland. That can never be said of our soccer professionals who went to Tunisia just to go and quarrel and lose a vital match.
They even had to be begged and promised bonuses before agreeing to play. What treason! This is a classic example to treasonable felony against the State and Republic of Ghana.
At this juncture, I may congratulate the GFA Coordinator of the Black Stars for a good job done in saying everything in plain and lucid language. Mr Oheneba-Charles, a veteran sportswriter and one of the all-time best, said the whole truth in great detail and did not gloss over a single point.
We know what really happened and no one can speculate any longer unless the persons want to end up day dreaming.
What is worrying is that Osei Kofi’s Polos and Razaks did not behave like this? And there were better players in all departments of the game. Those glorious days of Ghana soccer when players were prepared to die to bring the Cup home are indeed over. There is no more dedication and love for Ghana, only MONEY, MONEY and MONEY!
After all, what does Ghana mean to our present-day professionals? They regard Ghana as a small poor African country dreaming of becoming a world football champion nation that can never be. So why should they worry their heads over a country with about 20 million whimsical citizen?
And we honour them yearly – SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR-with all the fanfare and pageantry. But do they care for Ghana? They care about their monies abroad. Damn Ghana!
No one can now gainsay the fact that Abedi Pele, Tony Yeboah and Prince Õpoku have in various ways contributed to the death of Ghana soccer by either having over-weaning thoughts of themselves, not being dedicated and creating division and forming cliques and alliances within the team.
Even if we are to use professionals again in international assignments, it would be very stupid on our part to include these old guards. They have done what Napoleon could do and have not helped us to win a single tournament. So enough is enough.
Young professionals like lightning striker Charles Akunnor, Kofi Mbeah and the budding, promising, guys who want to make a name and are showing dedication should be brought in alongside the locals.
What about the head coach and the technical men? The only problem with them is that they were scared of losing their jobs. At least what they were being paid took care of daily chopmoney, school fees and beer. So why would they want to incur the displeasure of their bosses and jeopardise the regular flow of their incomes? Perhaps one should not blame them excessively. ABRABO YE HARD!
However, on this occasion I think they deserve the sack, and I’d explain why? They stooped too low for their status. They allowed Abedi Pele and other self- appointed elements in the Stars team to virtually make the selection for the matches.
How can a coach make his selection and ask Abedi to approve of it and allow him to make alteration where he deemed fit. Any coach who does that is not worth his pay.
If Jim Amoah and Aggrey-Fynn were coaches worth a name, they wouldn’t have allowed the boys to blackmail them the way they did.
If Abedi wanted someone to play and he wasn’t allowed and he threatened not to play, it could only have been a threat anyway, and not an action.
And threats should not have cowed the coaches.
And of course when the Black Stars were playing in all their matches, our head coach did not behave like a coach at all. In contrast to the Malian coach, Jim Amoah looked like any ordinary spectator.
The Malian coach really pepped his boys on. At least he could be seen barking like a dog on many occasions and this kept the players in line and they got to the semi-final stage.
Westerhoff, the Nigerian coach, was worse and did more overtime than even the players, which paid off eventually. He was constantly wailing, crying, dancing and doing everything short of flying like a vulture, to keep the team progressing. They won the cup.
And from his demeanour, I don’t think even all the power of the Nigerian Armed Forces could have forced him to change his selection for the matches they played. Of course, he’ll tell you in any language, fair or foul, to “clear off” or “go burn the sea.” Perhaps, we really need a coach of his kind.
Yes, we need a coach who can tell Tony Yeboah to remove his cap during training or pack and leave if he defaults, or to tell Abedi to forget about ‘Vegebom’ and rally round the boys or tell Prince Opoku to start from the bench and to “sharrup” if he talks “rubbish”. In Tunisia the Stars team lacked discipline and this brought about the obituary of Sikaman soccer.
And now the Ghana Football Association (GFA). I don’t really know what to say of them. Normally they claim they do not “interfere” with the work of the coaches but rather “intervene”. It is doubtful which of the two words is more destructive to Ghana soccer.
The GFA boss, Nana Butler assumed the air and stance of a generallisimo and psychedelically dissolved the national team and fired the coaches and technical men right in Tunisia. That was too revolutionary for a democratic era.
He should first have come home to mourn and drink akpeteshie with fellow Ghanaians who are still mourning the death of Ghana soccer. Then after the wake-keeping and burial, he could proceed to dissolve the team and pay off Jim Amoah and Aggrey-Fynn
But it didn’t happen that way, because the man says he has thick-skin. And with this kind of skin, he wanted a so-called newly-formed Stars to play two friendlies in South Africa. It would have been the worst disaster Ghana has ever encountered.