Member of the erstwhile Ghana Football Association (GFA) Normalisation Committee (NC), Samuel Osei Kuffour, has revealed that the decision of former Black Stars’ head coach, Kwesi Appiah, to change captaincy of the team few weeks ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt, got the Committee very disturbed.
Coach Appiah, according to a publication on the football association website, disclosed that he held a meeting with top brass of the then Committee before naming André Dede Ayew as the permanent captain of the team ahead of the tournament – with Kwadwo Asamoah as his deputy, whilst assigning then skipper Asamoah Gyan a new role of general captain.
That decision, which received approval and full backing of the NC – then in charge of the day-to-day running of the football, saw Gyan retiring from the team only to reverse his decision later, following an intervention by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
However, in an interview at the weekend, Kuffuor stated that the coach’s decision back then got the Committee rattled.
“That decision was a bit disturbing for the GFA Normalisation Committee; it got all the way to President Nana Akufo-Addo and rendered the NC limited.
According to him, the issue grew above the Committee, who had nothing more to say about it; hence the President coming in to speak with the two players together with the coach and Sports Ministry.
“In my view, it was a little bit hectic. Why could Kwesi Appiah not wait until after the tournament to make those changes,” he quizzed.
Many Ghanaians have attributed the Black Stars’ poor performance at the tournament to that decision, as they were heavily tipped to pluck the diadem for the first time since last winning it in 1982, in Libya. However, they suffered a Round-of-16 elimination.
The former Ghana international, who refused to be drawn into that argument, opined that that whole drama that preceded Ghana’s appearance at the tournament could have been avoided had coach Appiah waited a bit.
“Kwasi Appiah, in my view, should have probably had a second thought about the whole issue before making that decision. If I were Kwasi Appiah, I would have just left it as it was. Asamoah Gyan is the captain, if he does not play, Andre Ayew is the captain,” he told Joy FM.
This, he explained, would have sealed the case.
However, making Ayew captain and relegating Gyan with the atmosphere around that time, for me, was not the best at all.”
BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY