Gaisah Wants Dodoo Out

GaisahFormer Ghanaian long jumper, Ignacious Gaisah, has called for the immediate resignation of the chief of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA), Prof. Francis Dodoo.

Gaisah, who switched nationality in July 2012, and now runs for The Nederlands, made the startling call on Metro TV Sports File show on Wednesday night.

He said after meeting Prof. Dodoo one-on-one, he realised the Athletics’ chieftain was bereft of the requisite quality and wherewithal to lead the association to glory.

“There and then, I decided to switch nationality to pursue my career elsewhere,” he stated, describing his move as “irreversible.”

“I have thought through my decision and I know it’s the best I had made.”Left to me alone, I believe Ghana athletics is dead and unless something is done urgently, things would get worse,” he told the Sports File host Ernest Koranteng.

Gaisah mentioned the provision of quality training facilities, quality coaching, financial backing from government among others – as the things that could reverse the dwindling fortunes of the sport.

Indeed, Ghana was able to present only 200m sprinter Janet Amposah for August 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia, triggering assertions the nation’s athletics was dead.

But Prof. Dodoo, who doubles as President of the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC), is refusing to accept that the sport is facing challenges.

He insists that Ghana will emerge stronger for the next Olympics in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.
“The sport isn’t dead, I think what is happening is that a lot of people are looking at this year which has been a very peculiar year and are basing their arguments on,” says Dodoo, himself an accomplished former national athlete.

Meanwhile, Gaisah, a multiple-medal winner for Ghana said the decision to acquire Dutch citizenship was the best of his career “because it offers me financial and future opportunities like eliciting kit sponsorships from companies.”

Barely, a year after embossing his mast to the Holland national colours, the Elmina-born long jumper grabbed his first silver medal for his new country at the 2013 World Athletics Championship in Moscow, Russia.

The 30-year-old athlete, who has lived in the European country for the past 12 years, made a formal request to the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) to grant him the permission to compete for his adopted country.

By the rules of the International Associations of Athletics Federation (IAAF), an athlete needs the permission of his national federation to enable him to compete for another country or stay out of competition for two years to qualify.

Gaisah is considered as one of the finest things to ever happen to Ghana athletics after winning silver at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, and gold in the 2005 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.
A year on, he snatched gold in the 2006 World Indoor Championships in Moscow, Russia and, bronze in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

On the continental scene, Gaisah, grabbed gold in the 2003 All Africa Games in Abuja, Nigeria, 2010 African Championships in Bambous, Mauritius and silver in the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique.
At the 2006 African Athletics Championships, Gaisah won the gold medal with an 8.51 m jump, upstaging Senegalese Cheick Touré’s African record of 8.46 metres of 1997. - John Vigah

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