Ghana Football Association (GFA) President Kurt Okraku has defended his decision to clear out the technical team of all its national teams as a move to breathe new life into the nation’s sport.
News broke on Friday that the GFA had elected to dissolved all coaching staff of both male and female teams.
Black Stars coach James Kwasi Appiah, home-based Black Stars trainer Maxwell Konadu, men’s U23 boss Ibrahim Tanko and senior national women’s team coach Mercy Tagoe-Quarcoo were among those affected by the move.
Okraku explained the decision to local Ghanaian radio station Joy FM saying;
“We have not been as competitive as we want to be in all our national levels. We need to find ways to be competitive, bring the love back and bring the teams back into the finals and in the end, win trophies. This is what the Council also aims to achieve that is why this was done,” .
“I believe that Ghana is one of the biggest football nations and has qualities across the board – coaches, players – personnel across the board from which reason I believe that Ghana must appear at every cup competitions be it at the youth stage – U14, U17 levels – and also at the biggest mundial.
“When we do not appear I am overly worried and I believe we have to be at every tournament.”
Ghana’s male U17 and U20 coaches, as well as women’s U17 and 20 coaches, have also been affected by the latest development.
“The other bit is that we have to be competitive to be able to win. We used to be very dominant at U17 level, we used to appear at the U20 World Cup quite regularly, U23 we have always struggled, perhaps for reasons that I don’t know.
‘But in the next four years I want us to win trophies and that will be the challenge to all the head trainers that we will be engaging in the next few days, not weeks.”
Ghanaian football has witnessed a real struggle in recent years as the Black Stars last won a major title in 1982, the Africa Cup of Nations in Libya.
They failed to make the quarter-finals of the AFCON for the first time since 2006 and where knocked out in the second round in Egypt. Ghana also failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Mane and Salah win Premier League title with Liverpool
African stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have helped English club Liverpool end their 30-year wait for a league title after being crowned English Premier League champions on Thursday night.
Manchester City’s 2-1 loss at Chelsea ensured the Reds now have an unassailable 23-point lead with seven matches remaining in the season. Goals from Christian Pulisic and Willian either side of a Kevin De Bruyne freekick saw rapturous celebrations from Liverpool fans all over the world.
Jurgen Klopp had earlier led his Liverpool side to a comprehensive 4-0 win over Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday evening to leave them on the brink of winning the title.
“I have no words. It’s unbelievable,” Klopp said in an interview after the Chelsea win. “It’s much more than I ever thought, to become champions with this outstanding club is unbelievable.”
“It’s an incredible achievement for my players, It’s the best thing I could ever imagine and it’s more than I ever dreamed of,” he said.
Liverpool’s principal owner, John W. Henry, paid tribute to the team’s “magnificent achievement” on social media.
“‘This was a season for the ages and for the faithful of Liverpool Football Club,” Henry, who is head of Fenway Sports Group, tweeted.
“‘It has been an incredible year of magnificent achievement culminating tonight in capturing the Premier League title.
“‘This in addition to winning a European championship, a Super Cup and a world championship — the totality of this accomplishment has brought respite and joy to so many in a year filled with so much tragedy.
“‘LFC has made the beautiful game more beautiful than ever.
“It is said, ‘We are Liverpool’. You, the supporters are Liverpool in every sense and you continue to drive the club forward — a historic club making history once again.”
Nominees released for 2019/2020 Marc Vivien Foe Award
French media outlets RFI and France 24 have released the 11 nominees for the 2019/2020 Marc-Vivien Foe Award
French media outlets RFI and France 24 have released the 11 nominees for the Marc-Vivien Foe Award. The annual event is organized in memory of the late Marc-Vivien Foe, a Cameroonian midfielder who died at the age of 28 while playing for the Indomitable Lions during a 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup match against Colombia.
He had two stints in the French Ligue 1, first turning out for Lens before playing for Olympique Lyon after a short time in England with West Ham United.
Ivorian Nicolas Pépé was the winner of the 2019 edition after a stunning, 22-goal season with Lille who finished as runners up behind Paris St. Germain. Nominees must be eligible to wear the colors of an African national team and must have played at least 15 matches in Ligue 1 in the season under consideration.
The list is dominated by players from Senegal, with no less than four from the runners up at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. They include PSG’s defensive midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, Stade Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy who kept nine clean sheets and saved a penalty from 24 Ligue 1 games, teammate Mbaye Niang who scored 15 goals in 36 games in all competitions and FC Metz’ Habibou Diallo who scored 12 goals.
Nigerian duo Victor Osimhen and Moses Simon will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Vincent Enyeama, who won the award in 2014. Osimhen had a dream debut campaign in France with Lille, scoring 18 goals in 38 games across all competitions, 13 of them in 27 league games. Simon, who was on loan from Levante had a solid campaign as well, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists from 30 games with Nantes.
African champions Algeria are also represented. Striker Islam Slimani scored nine goals in 19 games across all competitions for Monaco while compatriot Andy Delort also scored nine goals for Montpellier. Both players are hoping to become the first Algerians to win the award.
Gabon and Saint Etienne’s Bouanga Denis, Malian Hamari Toure of Rennes and Morocco’s Younis Abdelhamid of Reims complete the shortlist.
The winner will be announced on or before June 29 2020.
The full list:
Andy Delort (Algeria) Montpellier
Islam Slimani (Algeria) Monaco
Edouard Mendy (Senegal) Rennes
Idrissa Gana Gueye (Senegal) PSG
Habib Diallo (Senegal) FC Metz
Mbaye Niang (Senegal) Rennes
Moses Simon (Nigeria) FCNantes
Victor Osimhen (Nigeria) LOSC
Younis Abdelhamid (Morocco) Reims
Hamari Traoré (Mali) Rennes
Denis Bouanga (Gabon) ASSE
Egyptian league to wait on government
The President of the Egyptian Football Association reveals that the return of sports in the country is solely dependent on the government
The President of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Amr El-Gainany has said the return of sports in the country is solely dependent on the government.
All Sporting activities in Egypt have been suspended since 14 March due to the coronavirus pandemic that has hit the world. In Egypt, the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise, as they are getting close to the 20,000-case mark.
The Egyptian FA president says they are prepared for any scenario as he revealed that the future of Egyptian sports is dependent on the decisions of the government.
“We haven’t taken a final decision regarding the future of sports competitions in Egypt,” said El-Ganainy.
“This decision will be made by the government but until now it wasn’t taken.
“We’re fully prepared if the government decides to continue the league”
“Even if the league is cancelled, we’ll be ready and we prepared several scenarios. We all want to continue the league unless the situation doesn’t allow it.
“In case we continue the league, the games won’t be played on the same pitches or the cities, as we want to limit the movement of the players,” he added.
El-Ganainy also gave an update on the health of the EFA’s technical director Mahmoud Saad who contracted the coronavirus after a meeting with some expatriate Egyptian coaches.
“There are no cases within the EFA, we took all of the precautions and we hope that Mahmoud Saad recovers quickly.
“Mahmoud Saad’s situation is improving every day. I want to thank him for his efforts over the previous year’s especially regarding dealing with athletes returning from abroad. He made a lot of efforts which exhausted him,” he concluded.
The former Zamalek coach will undergo the medical protocol cited by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and will take all the official cautions and measurements to face the virus.
The precautionary measures given by the government have been taken inside the EFA’s headquarters since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the EFA’s Chief Executive Walid El-Attar.
The Egyptian Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi said recently that football clubs will resume training in June.