A section of football-loving Ghanaians has taken to social media to express anger at the decision of the GFA to retain Black Stars Coach, Kwasi Appiah, despite his poor showing at the Brazil 2014 World Cup.
As part of his contract – which guarantees him about £150,000 in salaries and allowances per year – Appiah was required to win the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tounament and qualify Ghana to the semi-final of the Brazil 2014 World Cup. However, the former Ghana international achieved none of the targets.
At AFCON 2013 held in South Africa, Ghana emerged a disappointing fourth after losing 3-2 on penalties in the semi-final to Burkina-Faso and 3-1 to Mali in third place play-off.
Ghanaian fans were also treated to a second heartbreak at the Brazil 2014 World Cup when the Black Stars were eliminated in the first round, following 2-1 losses to USA and Portugal and a 2-2 draw with Germany.
The team earned only one point from a possible nine, condemning them to last position in Group G and marking Ghana’s worst ever performance in a World Cup competition. It was also the first the four-time African champions had failed to progress from the group stage of a World Cup tournament.
In Brazil, Appiah was said to have lost the trust and respect of some of his players, leading to altercations with stars like Kevin-Prince Boateng.
The 54-year-old was also said to have suddenly burst into tears in front of players and officials during dinner in camp.
Boateng, who revealed this in an interview with German newspaper, Bild, said nobody understood why the coach wept.
Boateng had been expelled from camp and handed an indefinite suspension for allegedly insulting the coach during training.
In spite of the string of failures that has characterised Appiah’s tenure as coach so far, the GFA defied public opinion Wednesday to retain him as the coach of the Black Stars.
The GFA made the disclosure at a post-World Cup press conference in Accra.
FA President, Kwasi Nyantakyi, who made the announcement, said the decision to retain Appiah was taken by the association’s Executive Committee.
He said Appiah’s immediate task would be to rebuild the Black Stars team and qualify for the African Cup of Nations tournament in Morrocco, which he said Ghana would try to would win.
The decision has sparked social media condemnation from Ghanaians, who fear that the team will continue to retrogress with Appiah in charge.
Mark Adjetey, a ready-to-die Black Stars enthusiast based in the USA, lamented the decision on Facebook, noting that Appiah should have been sacked after his failure to win AFCON 2013.
Adjetey said: “After AFCON 2013 fiasco, Nyantakyi said to give Appiah another chance. The reasons about building or rebuilding Black stars are same reasons they used back then. If you compare the press conference after AFCON 2013 and today you will see that the main content is the same.
“They’re counting on the fans to cool off after a week or so. It has worked for them in the past and they expect it to work again. It all depends on the fans. I believe the fans should Occupy GFA headquarters until they see a change!”
Citi FM Sports Editor, Gary Alsmith posted on Facebook : “I think Kwesi Appiah has done his best and must move on. He cannot win AFCON 2015. Not good enough.
Alsmith’s comment was echoed by Footy-Ghana Editor, Christopher Opoku, who urged Appiah to resign honourably.
He wrote: “I feel sorry for Kwesi Appiah. Many of you know that I have been one of his strongest supporters and when many felt that he should be fired after the 2013 African Nations Cup, I was one of the few who asked that he be retained. I really admire him as a person, but after seeing what I saw, as per the World Cup, I am going to have to say that I don’t think he is the man to take the Black Stars forward. He should resign honourably in my view..”