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Feature: Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah needs support not dismissal

Published on: 01 August 2014
Kwesi Appiah

Going to secondary school and growing up in Kumasi in the 1980s, the last Ghanaian soccer personality back then that I would support would never have been Ghana’s current soccer head coach—Akwasi Appiah.

This was because Akwasi Appiah, irrespective of his skills, played for Kotoko soccer club; and, regardless of my Ashanti lineage, I have never been an enthusiastic fan of the team (no disrespect, Kotoko is a great team).

I was a strong Phobia (Hearts of Oak) fan and still am, if I happened to live Ghana now. I’m Hearts of Oak for life! Back in the day in Kumasi, the only time I would suspend my “hostilities” toward Kotoko players, including Akwasi Appiah, was when they wore the national (Black Stars) jersey. For me, Ghana is larger than Kotoko- or -Hearts Sporting Clubs.

So why give this personal context? The effort here is to try to let any fair-minded reader understands that this article is not meant to be a blind support or endorsement of Akwasi Appiah because of some personal relationships or connections.

Rather, we’re all trying to look at the Black Stars’ disappointed results in Brazil in holistic and disinterested contexts devoid of personal vendetta and innuendoes. It’s normal to embark on some soul-searching and ask questions (productive?) whenever things failed to meet expectations.

However, in the quest for self-introspection we also need to employ the services of common sense and fairness to help us reach well-informed conclusions. More often, it seems like some Ghanaians tend to jump into rush conclusions owing to blind supports based on personal connections such as tribes, local soccer team affiliations, sycophancy, and what have you, at the expense of national interests. Strong adherence to this school of thought is destroying Ghana!

Indeed, there may be some Ghanaians who oppose Akwasi Appiah as the Black Stars’ coach based on some well-founded reasons; whereas many others just dislike the fact that Ghana does not have a foreign (or neutral?) coach who has no tribal affinity in the country.

The latter group of Ghanaians seems to find it convenient to put all the blame on the head coach and the corrupt Ghanaian soccer officials about the subpar performance of Ghana camp in Brazil. Strangely, though, these people appear to think that the players are somehow above reproach; they are tin-gods, and can’t or should not be held responsible for anything that occurred during the 2014 World Cup event.

The issue I have with these folks who parade the preceding line of unexamined thinking is that they ignore the fact that world-class stars such as Maradona, Messi, Ronaldo, Nyemar, Drobga, and the like, do not play for their national teams to make money. Rather, they use their respective national teams’ platforms to advertise their immense skills and talents and in the process enhance their market value at the club levels.

That is where the money flows. No doubt almost all Ghanaian players are aware of this reality. This phenomenon explains why all the up and coming players struggle and beg to be selected to represent the country on the national level until some of them become rich and famous and then begin to thumb their noses on the nation that provided them the ladder to climb to success.

We all agree in toto that the Ghanaian soccer officials (government, GFA…) must stop their misleading tactics and award the players what is due them in timely manner.

On the other hand, too, what happened in Brazil leading to Ghana’s abysmal soccer campaign cannot be taken away completely from the doorsteps of the so-called senior players in the squad.

So, as some Ghanaians hastily begin pointing the accusing fingers solely at the technical team led by Akwasi Appiah, they must also realize that it does not matter the tactical efficiency of a coach, if the players are not in the proper psychological mindset all the efforts will come to nothing.

The assumption by some Ghanaians that Akwasi Appiah is not a good coach because he could not replicate or better Ghana’s record in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa ignores some notable facts.

Aside from being the first Ghanaian-born coach ever to qualify Ghana for the World Cup, undoubtedly Appiah was caught in the crossfire of an intractable problem that had been simmering for years and reaching its breaking point in 2014.

In a way, some of the players used whatever legitimate concerns they might have had to intentionally or unintentionally sabotage all the efforts put in place by their coach.

Thus, before some of us start lamenting over the so-called incompetency of the current head coach and pontificating about the virtues of foreign coaches let’s dispassionately take a good look at the subtext of the Ghanaian soccer headlines or the problems first.

At this point, Akwasi Appiah needs all Ghanaians support to build a formidable team and not removal. Sure, the Ghanaian soccer officials are corrupt and liars to the core, but Muntari and co. were not above blame; they could have reacted differently in the interest of the Ghana and the fans. Give us a break; Ghana has done a lot for these players!


This article has 20 comment(s), give your comment
  • Rass says:
    August 01, 2014 12:21 pm
    Just sick n tired of this mumu choach the earlier we kick him out the better for ghana football. One more year for this man 'll really terrible
  • Tanko says:
    August 01, 2014 12:29 pm
    I have to reread this feature before electing to come back here: this response is to the writer: Well writen Piece however, the condemnation of the playing body makes your piece somewhat off the mark. Yes, Muntari's action must not be entertained In every institution and the volume of condemnation that met his action was not even enough, yours included. Now, let's look at what breeds such behaviors in society of any kind, world wide. Anytime you have corrupt leaders in any society or institution, slowly but surely, a rebel institution is also around the corner and obviously, it's going to explode any danger! That's exactly what happened to Ghana camp in Brazil. All the times that Muntari got suspended and or thrown out of camp, was because of rebellious tendencies and the corruption that propels him was never been fixed. So each time he comes back to the scene and sees those same wicked games that has been played over and over, it instigates him to respond. Oh yes, he has the right to..... Because he's part and parcel of the team and the nation as a whole. You want to eradicate indiscipline in a set up, you start from the top. We went to Brazil knowing very well that there was a looming dangers, but business went on as usual thinking that the playing body would carry the blame if we plan how to dupe them well and they'll carry the blame or the pain. The playing body are adults... Yes! Adults and are enjoying their hard earned fruits and are getting old and, for the above stated reasons of them getting old, they look up to these corrupt officials whom possibly don't even have the love of the nation at heart but the money they are about to cash. The playing body would react violently in order to put a halt to the corruptions that's been revolving unchecked for close to a decade. That's why you saw/heard even Essien was involved. Nobody wants to see what happened in Brazil to Ghana. Nyantakyi blamed money money and money while he was caught in tape compromising fixing an A match. The playing body had a plan too and it was executed and Muntari became hero to some and an indisciplined to others. The current FA officials must vacate their posts if they've the nation called Ghana at heart! KA NAWU!!!
  • A concerned citizen...222222 says:
    August 01, 2014 11:20 am
    What support again and for how many year apprentice He should be fired
  • Tanko says:
    August 01, 2014 11:31 am
    Yea right! Sometimes we Ghanaians are very complicated people. We often act "ANTICLICKEISE" Those that needs help don't get it... However, what sense does it make to keep a coach who failed miserably? Our youth needs the help and not the established failures. AA failed... Highly incompetent for the job he's been paid to do. The troubled playing body are those that needs support. Players such as KPB, Muntari, Essien and many more that I couldn't mention here. AA has seen it all in failures and if Ghana should give anyone some support at all, it should be Sellas Tetteh. Why are we doing this to our great soccer nation. Regardless of what Ghana masses says, Nyantakyi and his cohorts would still go ahead and do what they want.
  • Tanko says:
    August 01, 2014 11:34 am
    Point of correction: ANTICLICKEISE " should have read "ANTICLOCKWISE" the error wasn't regretted any way. Not to readers here but to GFA because if they want to give us anything, every rubbish goes to them too.
  • Rszor says:
    August 01, 2014 12:41 pm
    Nyantakyie is shitting in his pants,because of Randy Abbey.You go talk true Nyantakyie.
  • papa says:
    August 01, 2014 01:10 pm
    this guy is not fit for the position. he doesnt even have the basic character needed. that cannot be thought overnight. ya we can support him if he is just tactically bankrupt. but he has no character either or man management skills. please just quit before u get dismissed.
  • patriot says:
    August 01, 2014 01:29 pm
    the guy is simply not good for the job so what can of support are you talking about. tweaa
  • HH says:
    August 01, 2014 01:15 pm
    Mr. writer, when I read the heading of your piece I was tempted to think that you had some strong points or reasons for soliciting support for our dear coach but as usual I was not too surprised(as with many write-ups with the same theme) at your empty and factless approach.Now can we use some facts for once. During the qualifiers for 2010 WC we qualified with two games to spare.We went to the final of the AFCON and were a penalty away from the semi-final of the world cup.In the group phase we had 4 points and came second in our group.This was a team full of rookies from our U-20 squad.During 2014 qualifiers we qualified to the last phase on the final day with a nail biting 2-1 victory over Zambia.We went to the AFCON and placed fourth losing to Burkina faso and Mali.We went to the world cup and placed bottom of our group with 1 point.The highlight was how our coach was interviewed infront of the whole world and he said his strategy was to wait for his opponents to get tired before bringing on his best team.Our dear coach also broke down in tears infront of the same players he was supposed to be inspiring and giving directions. On the account of the above facts can you,Mr. Writer, come again and tell us why we should support your Mr. Appiah.
  • Ansong says:
    August 01, 2014 02:02 pm
  • SHANGO says:
    August 01, 2014 02:35 pm
    We must let Banger coach black stars it least he has played professional soccer before.
  • costy says:
    August 01, 2014 03:28 pm
    Eeeeeeeeeei ghanasoccernet, stop promoting this corrupt agenda if u have gh at heart. Yoooo! u better be wise or......
  • Mr william says:
    August 01, 2014 10:02 pm
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  • Deladem says:
    August 01, 2014 10:13 pm
    Akwasi Appiah is just not good enough. No article or novel is going to change that fact. TRUTH STANDS.
  • Benito says:
    August 02, 2014 01:41 am
    Empty and useless article!!!!
  • anokwale says:
    August 01, 2014 04:04 pm
    HH: I always feel a need to respond to the 2010 WC references. To be honest (and I was physical there for all the group games and the USA game at the 16), we basically were lucky in 2010. We barely got out of the group because Australia had lost to Germany by a huge margin and pulled off an upset of Serbia. In fact, if you look at the video of the Serbia game, we were fortunate that KPB got the attention of the referee and that penalty was called. Our one win in the group stage was lucky. Please refrain from giving the Serbian coach too much credit. Another point that has to made is that the 2010 win over the USA was basically a result of two great individual goals. I cannot say that Ghana was tactically superior to USA on that day. The Uruguay match up was a game where Uruguay was controlling play in the first half. We just happened to get a great goal from Muntari before the half and that forced Uruguay to change a bit and then it turned into more of a wide open game that went back and forth. 2010 was a combination of luck and some brilliant individual efforts. The coach was not the key.
  • shine says:
    August 01, 2014 04:26 pm
    If I heard someone mentioned Kwesi Appiah name i feel like shooting the person with a gun.What chance do we Ghanaians have to offere kwesi Appiah again?He had many opportunities to coach Black stars than any team in the World. Look at Steven Keshei at Nigeria,he took Nigeria to won Africa cup of nations in South Africa and took Nigeria to second around of World cup in Brazil yet where is he? he had been fired.We should also adopted that kind of style to avoid any further disgraceables. Kwesi Appiah never learnds. It is a pitty that Appiah is crying for Black stars job.
  • HH says:
    August 01, 2014 04:54 pm
    My brother, have you ever heard that you create your own luck? If it was that easy to be lucky, as you put it, over 5 games then I wonder what happened to akwasi appiah that he never managed to be lucky even once in 2014.Please lets argue with facts not ifs and buts.The fact is we earned 4 points and made it out of our group in 2010.There are no ifs n buts or luck here please.If something is good its good whether you like it or not.
  • Yaw says:
    August 01, 2014 05:36 pm
  • OGYA says:
    August 01, 2014 07:13 pm
    Seconding what you have just stated, I had always believed that someone at the GFA does not like Sillas Tetteh, His vision and good scouting instincts have given this country some of the players in the present Black Stars that Akwesi Appiah has been depending on. The Ghana U20 is the only one in Africa to have won the World Championship. So why has he not been promoted to coach the national team but instead the job given to a person who did nothing but became a tag along and a brown noser at the GFA. For far too long we have idiots like this commentator come along to support individuals with acute brains like Akwesi Appiah who do not have the acumen to be handed a very important job like coaching the national team, all because he is a Ghanaian? nonsense, Soccer is one of the activities we draw our national pride from so we Ghanaians demand to have only the best to coach it. He has not shown any propensity to learn so why keep him. This guy will be collecting over $800,000 for lazy work? only in Ghana will this happen. Well of course we are noted for our stupidity anyway, so that will not be anything new. I hope the Ghana Ministry Of Sports will stop the GFA from paying this guy that money until all investigations have been completed and decision made whether to keep him or dump him.