FORMER Black Bombers coach, Ofori Asare has cautioned the new executive of the Ghana Amateur Boxing Authority (GABFA) to handle his dismissal with care or Ghana risks the danger of her boxers being turned away at the All Africa Games.
According to the experienced coach whose dismissal was announced last week following the coming into office of the Gideon Quartey led executive, his dismissal will come at a big cost to Ghana and advised the new administration to rather focus on building the right structures to ensure smooth transition of coaches with the Black Bombers.
Reacting to the Times Sports publication of his dismissal last week, Coach Asare, who doubles as the head coach of Wisdom Boxing gym, explained that his absence from the team would mean that Ghana would be left with no 3-star AIBA graded coach, meaning Ghana would have to hire one at the Games.
Unfortunately, the only coach among members of the new technical team that comes close to the requirement is Vincent Akai Nettey who is a 2-star graded AIBA Coach.
“The rules are very clear on it. At such major Games, every boxing team must have a coach graded 3-star. Without a coach with the grade, boxers from that team would not be allowed to enter the ring unless the team is ready to hire one from another competing country.”
“What that also means is that a Ghanaian coach will train the boxers and prepare them for their fights but in the ring, he will take instructions from a coach from another country who is in direct competition with you. That will obviously not be the best for Ghana.”
“The question we also need to ask is whether Ghana will be ready to foot that additional bill,” he examined.
Asare also raised question marks over the manner his dismissal was carried and disputed some media reports about him, especially the period he has been with the team.
According to him, he was disrespected by learning about his dismissal in the media, adding that, ‘I would have taken it lightly if I had been written to. I understand I have been with the team for a while but not over two decades as is been speculated.’
Coach Asare pointed out that he has nothing personal against Quartey as being perceived.
He said he was aware of reports indicating that he (Asare) pulled every string to ensure that Gideon loses the election but whatever I did was to ensure that the GABF was national in character.
“Everything I did was part of the work assigned to me. I was quizzed by the Director of Sports at the National Sports Authority (NSA), Saka Acquaye why boxing is centered in Accra and that we should make sure every region is given the chance to participate in the process and that was what I did.”
He added: ‘with consultation with the regional heads, we got some representatives including Quartey’s competitor, Eugene Nyarko who I didn’t know from anywhere until we vetted him but people go around saying I brought him to defeat Quartey.’
The only problem with the exercise of getting the regions on board, he admitted, was the timing but believes it was a good exercise the Quartey led executive must try to implement as they attempt to take the sport to every corner of the country.
By Andrew Nortey