The Black Stars have witnessed a decline in performances over the years, especially in the AFCON and this has become a major call for concern by fans and some administrators of the beautiful game in Ghana.
Ghana has enjoyed flamboyant successes at the youth level after winning several African Youth Championships and World Cups, the recent of was being crowned the U20 champions in Mauritania this year and the 2009 U20 World Cup in Egypt.
The Black Stars has been robbed of this same glory with the last title coming in 1982 African Cup of Nations and the closest from thence was losing the finals to Ivory Coast on penalties in 2015.
In an interview with the Communications Director for the Football Association, he gave his assessment and plans the Kurt Okraku administration has put in place to help solve this trophy drought.
Speaking to Adam Adjei on Kasapa FM’s weekend sports show, The Kasapa Sports Stadium, he said “the Moroccans and the Algerians have managed their transitions very well. In recent times, we have also seen how Nigeria has benefitted from player call ups and even had more than 4 non-Nigerian borns in their AFCON 2019.”
Some brilliant youngsters who performed excellently at the youth levels failed to get integrated into the national team later in their football careers. Ransford Osei, Dominic Adiyiah were at the peak in their careers when they both featured at the 2007 and 2009 U20 World Cups respectively.
Some years back, transitioning and getting non-Ghanaian born players to feature for the national team was very impressive and well managed because there were proper structures with the likes of Anthony Baffoe, Charles Witsel, Kevin Prince Boateng, Adam Kwarasey and a few others joining in at some points in time.
On the other hand, Ghana has a plethora of stars who could have played for the Black Stars. Mario Balotelli, Callum Hudson Odoi, Inaki Williams and a few others.
In a bid to restructure and get things going in this regard, the Ghana Football Association under Kurt Okraku’s watch has set up an international relations committee to scout non-Ghanaian born players and give a report to the technical team so that they can be convinced to come and play for the national team.
“You don’t suffer a lot when there are proper structures and people are anxious to dorn the national colours and that is what is benefitting Nigeria with former player JayJay Okocha scouting and convincing foreigners to come and play for the Super Eagles.”
“In the wisdom of the FA president, he set up an international relations committee of which he’s chair and in this committee, Stephen Appiah is a member, Sammy Kufour is a member, Razak Paintsil is also a member and their main mandate is to scout non-Ghanaian born talents and report back to the technical directorate and the technical directorate will take over from there with discussions and monitoring of the player.”
“Through this initiative, Ghana has managed to get players like Alexander Djiku and Tariq Fosu who also plays for Brentford.” Henry Asante Twum said.
There were several controversies surrounding the call ups for the recent AFCON qualifiers against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe with most football fans demanding why certain players were called up to the team especially with Kwame Poku Afriyie who plays for Colchester United in the English division 4.
“We called him because we wanted to cap him at an early age so that he doesn’t play for England when he finally gets the momentum. For now, we can only hope for his progression in the English divisions.”
Ghana has already booked their place at next year’s AFCON and will be resuming national duties in June in a bid to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Source: Kasapafmonline.com/Adade Joseph Macbeth