I was shocked to hear before the break that the salary of the Black Stars coach, Kwasi Appiah, has been in arrears for six months. That is unacceptable!
In my perplexity, one question that came to mind was if such a thing could happen if an expatriate were to be in charge of the senior national team? Whatever the reason might be, it is simply unwarranted. Every effort should be made to get the Stars coach paid as early as possible.
As if that is not enough, the Black Stars' winning bonus for the last two Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe in November have still not been paid. So how on earth do we expect the same coach and the players to produce results for us?
I urge the Minister of Youth and Sports, Isaac Asiamah, to treat these two issues with dispatch to avoid any unnecessary pressure.
It was an open secret that the extended contract of the Black Stars coach would expire at the end of last month. So I don't think it was necessary for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to make any public announcement in that regard. I rather expected the GFA to treat the issue as a matter of urgency by renewing Kwasi Appiah's contract for the sake of continuity.
In any case, I think it will be unjustifiable for the GFA and the ministry not to renew the contract of Appiah after winning his first two AFCON 2021 qualifying matches with the Black Stars. It makes no sense to me if anybody can ever think of rocking the boat with a change in the technical direction of the senior national team.
Such a decision will obviously not be in the supreme interest of the nation, as well as the Black Stars' campaign. If the authorities care to know, Ghana's failure to win major laurels all these years is mainly due to poor planning and the frequent changes of Black Stars coaches.
Again, it would be absurd for anybody to judge Appiah based on the Black Stars' second round exit at the Egypt 2019 AFCON via penalties after the Black Stars Management Committee had come out to state that it would be unfair to blame the coach alone for the team's failure to win the trophy as expected.
With just three months to the commencement of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the Black Stars need the stability and consistency they are currently enjoying under Appiah to make the necessary progress. It is for this reason that I think a change in technical direction now will be a wrong decision.
That aside, I don't want to believe President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will allow for a foreign coach to be contracted for the Black Stars at a time he has been trumpeting the made in Ghana agenda with passion. Any such move will defeat the purpose of that commendable campaign.
Beyond that, expatriate coaches have proved to be no better than Ghanaian coaches when it comes to Ghana's four AFCON triumphs. The best foreign coaches could do in the recent past was to qualify Ghana to the FIFA World Cup in 2006 and 2010, courtesy Ratomir Dujkovic and Milovan Rajevac from Serbia.
However, those records were equalled by Appiah in 2013 when he qualified Ghana to the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup. So with this evidence, what can a white coach do that a Ghanaian coach cannot do?
I believe it is high time we liberated ourselves from the ageless shackles of inferiority complex which our colonial masters succeeded in hanging around our necks before handing over the power of self-rule. Now that we have our independence as a people, we should believe in ourselves and encourage one another to help achieve our goals instead of sacrificing our hard-earned dignity on the altar of greed and selfishness.
As we mark the much-touted ‘Year of Return’ and ‘Beyond the Return’ aimed at bringing our African brothers in the Diaspora to return to their roots and invest in the economy, it will be a clear aberration to contract a white coach to handle the Black Stars at the expense of a Ghanaian coach.
And come to think of it, these white coaches we often engage for the Black Stars have no pedigree but only come here to throw their weight about, take outrageous salaries and ride on the back of Ghana to enrich their CVs. Unlike local coaches whose engagement benefit the economy inside- out, these white coaches only end up milking us dry, leaving us miserable to lick our wounds.
As for the kind of businesses, some of these white coaches do with the Black Stars, time and space will not permit me to discuss them now. Surely, Ghana soccer deserves better!
Let me reiterate that the current Black Stars do not have what it takes to win any major trophy now! However, the team have the potential to make it big in the near future if the right structures are put in place.
Let's stop deceiving the President as it happened at the last AFCON and paint the true picture to him. Like President Akufo-Addo, I believe we should encourage local coaches and offer them the needed support to deliver the needed results with time.
Football is a scientific game, not magic! Let's plan well and eschew victimisation, and we shall achieve results to the satisfaction of all Ghanaians.
Happy new year.