Ghana’s Exit, Blame Kwesi Appiah
Ghana over the past decade or more has always been tipped amongst the winners of the coveted African cup (Afcon).
Indeed after a stellar performance at the world cup in 2006 Ghana had arrived as a giant in Africa and world football. They didn’t just qualify from their group as debutants but they also beat Czech Republic then ranked third in the world.
They were eliminated by Mighty Brazil who went on to win the trophy for the fifth time.
In 2008 Ghana was the hot favourite for the Afcon (as host) till they shockingly lost to a Siyabonga Nomvete inspired South African side. On a humorous note however, South Africa is gaining notoriety for handing shocking defeats to host nations.
Fast forward in 2010 before the world cup in South Africa, Ghana went all the way to the finals and lost to Egypt who were winning the trophy for the seventh time. That final was also Ghana’s 9th.
At the mundial Ghana raised the flag of Africa highiest losing to Uruguay. That was also the match that shot Louis Suarez to world acclaim. Not really sure if all Ghanaians have forgiven him for his infamous so called hand of God. Asamoah Gyan missed a penalty resulting from that hand ball and broke not just Ghanaian hearts but that of Africa and many others who were rooting for Ghana.
It is worthy of notice that all these time Ghana was coached by foreigners.
In 2006 was Mr. Dujkovi, the Durol man. Mr. Milovan and Stevenovic all from Serbia. In 2011 Ghanaians agitated for a local coach and Mr. Akwesi Appiah was appointed.
In 2012 Ghana could have ended our trophy drought but we lost to 10 man Burkina Faso in the semi finals due to the technical bankruptcy of our coach. Burkina went to the final and lost to a very deficient Nigerian side.
One would have thought Kwesi would be shown the exit but he was tasked to lead Ghana to the world cup in Brazil. He didn’t just fail in his core duty as a coach but also showed his lack of control over the playing body.
In the opening game he rested his best players with an excuse of unleashing them on the USA in the second half. Shocking as it may seem we lost to USA who had never beaten Ghana in any competive match.
We held Germany to a draw, the best game of the tournament and lost to a very weak Portugese side. Players boycotted training before this match and even threatened not play if their winning bonuses and appearance fees were not paid.
Kwesi failed to resign after such fiascos and was sacked by then GFA President Mr. Nyantakyi.
In 2015 Ghana was in the finals, losing on penalties to Ivory Coast. For a team that had performed poorly at the world cup in 2014 to reach the finals of Afcon just a year later meant Kwesi Appiah was technically not up to scratch. Our coach was Mr. Avram Grant from Israel. Israeloooh note.
Surprisingly Mr. Kwesi Appiah was reappointed when Mr. Avram Grant exited in 2017. While my love for the team has never waned, I kept telling all who cared to listen that we have a crop of good players but no coach.
Kwesi Appiah indeed proved me right when he drew with Benin and Cameroon in his first two games before beating Guinea Bissau to top his group in the ongoing Afcon Egypt 2019.
At the 1/16th stage we had victory wrapped till our coach who had gone to the touchline as a spectator allowed just one Tunisian subsistution to snatch victory from us.
We lost eventually on penalties.Before the tournament Kwesi Appiah allowed needless captaincy issues to subtract from the focus of the team. His most experienced striker threatened to retire from the team till the president of Ghana intervened.
Whiles most Ghanaians believe that Ghana should stop locking within for a replacement for Mr. Appiah my name sake, Mr. David Duncan can competently hold the fore if not permanently until a substantive one is appointed.
As for Mr. Appiah he should never be made to smell the national team again as coach.
Gyasi Appiah (Son of footballers)