The Second coming of Kwesi Appiah as head coach of Ghana Black Stars is probably the worst kept secret in the annals of Ghana football.
Thirty-One (31) months ago, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) parted ways with Kwesi Appiah on a very dramatic note.
Dramatic in the sense that when the public was outraged by the team’s performance at Brazil 2014. But the FA stood by the coach and offered him a new contract only to make a U-turn and axe him not based on his performance but on his conduct.
According to Kojo Yankah, an Executive Committee member, Kwesi Appiah back then was sacked because he disrespected them in public.
“Kwesi was sacked because he disrespected us during the Black Stars press conference in Kumasi prior to the Ghana-Uganda AFCON qualifier,” Yankah said in a reaction to a question concerning whether he suggested the need to get him a technical adviser or not.
“Kwesi said it wasn’t his idea and even if the nation has money to hire him ten advisers he welcomes them.”
On the 4th day of April 2017, the Ghana FA made it official that Kwesi Appiah will return to the Black Stars on a two years contract. This news has been greeted with mixed emotions and thoughts.
Connoisseurs of the game have tried to ascribe reasons behind the FA’s decision to bring back the former Asante Kotoko defender to the bench of Black Stars with the main reason being government’s insistence on the hiring of a Ghanaian coach.
The Minister for Youth and Sports didn’t hide his preference for a local coach anytime he talked about the vacant Black Stars bench on radio.
The Majority Leader in Ghana’s Legislature was also strong with his preference for a local coach on the floor of Parliament, when he announced the demise of celebrated coaches Sam Arday and Emmanuel Afranie.
All these and other behind the scene talks may have influenced that choice of the 6-member committee tasked to find a coach for Ghana.
The representative of the sports ministry on the search committee, Dr. Owusu Ansah in a public statement mentioned that, all that we (government) want is a local coach.
Narrowing the choice to a local coach, Kwesi Appiah was the only one to have applied for the job, among the over ninety applicants including foreigners.
So it was obvious he was going to be the final choice.
Another reason might have been the cost of hiring and maintaining a local coach as compared to that of an expatriate.
Ghana doesn’t have the financial muscle to poach the ‘A’ coaches in Europe, so we normally settle on the ‘Bs’ and ‘Cs’. These ‘Bs and Cs’ still demand more than their counterparts in Ghana.
A section of the public considers the huge pay given to substandard expatriate coaches as wastage. They wouldn’t have a problem if you pay big for a big coach; but not the kinds who have been here in recent times.
Some have often argued that, if you can’t afford the likes of Guardiolas, Mourinhos, Ancelottis, and the Allegris; why offer the job as a learning opportunity to an expatriate and not one of your own.
Others even believe the coaches we hire, use the Black Stars as an opportunity to build their career so they can leave with an improved curriculum Vitae (CV).
They are of the view that when you give the job to one of our own; they will have the chance to build themselves in the coaching industry.
The second coming of Kwesi Appiah, who will be earning $35,000 as against Avram Grant’s $50,000, officially begins on the 1st of May, 2017.
He is tasked to qualify Ghana to the 2018 World Cup and win AFCON 2019.
He ought to prove his backer’s right or it will most likely block the chance of other local coaches in the future.
By: Rahman Osman/citifmonline.com/Ghana