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FEATURE: Bumpy rides for Loga, Akonnor

Published on: 15 September 2021
FEATURE: Bumpy rides for Loga, Akonnor
Zdravko Lugarusic

 

They were appointed to take charge of the Warriors, and the Black Stars, in the same month, of the same year, after havig served their apprenticeship, at the same Ghanaian clubs. And, as fate would have it, they were both fired, within hours, of the same week.

And, as fate would have it, they were both fired, within hours, of the same week. Zdravko Logarusic was the first to fall, on Sunday, after ZIFA finally lost patience with his lame excuses, as the miserable results piled up, with just one win in 14 matches. Then, Charles Kwablan Akonnor, met the same fate, on Monday, when the Ghanaian Football Association sacked him

At some point, last week, the duo might have been looking forward to their head-to-head showdown, in back-to-back World Cup qualifiers, in Accra and Harare, early next month. But, the two will have to watch from a distance, with other coaches in charge, when the Black Stars host the Warriors, on October 6. The two teams will clash, in the reverse encounter, four days later.

 

It also means Loga will not return to the country, where his coaching adventure on the continent started, when he arrived at King Faisal Babes, in 2009. Yesterday, Akonnor turned to Twitter to say goodbye after the premature ending of his term as Black Stars coach in which he was pocketing a cool US$20 000 a month.

“I’m grateful to HE President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Sports Ministry, my former boss Kwesi Appiah, the leadership of the GFA, colleagues I worked with, players and Ghanaians for the opportunity to serve (my country),’’ he tweeted. “Wishing the team all the best, thank you Ghana.’’

Reports indicated the GFA were planning to woo Frenchman Herve Renard, who won the AFCON title with Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire. He is now in charge of Saudi Arabia.

Ironically, Akonnor and Loga have traveled a similar path in their coaching adventures.

They were tasked with taking charge of the Black Stars, and the Warriors, within a two-week period, in January, last year.

Akonnor was the first to get the job on January 14 last year before Loga was unveiled two weeks later. A 0-3 thrashing in a friendly international against Mali, highlighted the challenges,which the Ghanaians were facing.

While it’s a poor record by Ghana standards, it is better than Loga’s horror show which saw the coach win just once in 14 matches,in charge of the Warriors. It represents the worst run by the Zimbabwe senior national football team, under any coach, in their history in the trenches of international football.

It transformed Loga into an effigy of shame, someone who has now made some of the Warriors’ worst coaches, like Rudi Gutendorf, appear like individuals, who did marginally well.

Before securing the Black Stars job, Akonnor had served his apprenticeship at the same Ghanaian clubs, where Loga also had stints. In April 2017, Akonnor was named head coach at Ashanti Gold, a club he had played for, during the initial phase of his career, which eventually took him to Europe. He was brought in to try and a poor run, which had seen the club sit at the bottom of the Ghanaian top-flight league, after having won just two, drawn two and lost seven of their opening 11 games.

Akonnor successfully managed to lead them clear of relegation as he guided Ashanti Gold to 10 wins, three draws and six losses, in the 19 matches they played, under his guidance.

He was recruited, on a substantive basis, at the beginning of the 2018 season, and Ashanti Gold were in second place, when the championship was called off, midway during the

However, on June 29, that year, Akonnor was sacked, a few days after he had been suspended, for failing to report for training. He joined Asante Kotoko, three months later and, in July 2019, he was sacked, after refusing to be “eliminated by promotion,’’ by accepting to move into the role of technical director. Norwegian coach, Kjetil Zachariassen, who had replaced him at Ashanti Gold, was again recruited to take over from him, at Asante Kotoko, where he just lasted four months, before also being sacked. Just like Akonnor, Loga also had a stint with Ashanti Gold, before also having a stint with Asante Kotoko where the club management even got him a top-of-the-range vehicle.

But, by April 2017, just a few months after Loga’s arrival, their relationship had turned toxic and, with only five wins from his 11 games, the Croatian coach was dismissed from his job.

 

Credit: Robson Sharuko

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