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28.08.2003 Sports News

LETTERS: GFA Under Attack

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Wake Up, GFA DEAR Editor, I wish to express my view on the state of our national team, Black Stars.

My heart bleeds and my whole world seems to come to a stand still. The recent dropping of the national team down the FIFA ranking is something of concern. Now we are ranked 71st in the whole world. Oh no!

Much has been said in the print media, electronic and the general public. Everywhere you go, people are talking about the recent performance of the Black Stars.

Is the GFA lacking ideas or focus? Or they don't have the know-how to save Ghana soccer from ruins? I am one person who doesn't like some of our players' attitude towards national calls, but I also blame the GFA on the current state of our national teams. I think they don't have the vision to revive Ghana football.

From time immemorial, the Football Association waits for last minute and ad hoc preparations. Readers can remember that when Milan '419' Zivadinovic ran away with our money to his native country, Yugoslavia, an Accra radio station (Joy FM) interviewed him from Yugoslavia.

He said a lot of things like Ghanaians sleep twenty-four hours, what is my condition of contract and team preparation?

Certainly, the Yugoslav is telling us something about the GFA's attitude towards team preparation.

There is no team preparation before international matches and we expect the coach and the playing body to perform magic? When other countries are preparing, we keep on sleeping, according to Milan '419' Ziva.

I guess there is no word like preparation in the dictionary of the FA. Let me borrow Mr Ben Koufie's words that he said to the Zimbabweans: "If we don't change our attitude, if we don't prepare, if we always say there is no money, even if we bring a coach from the sun, the moon, Pluto, Saturn etc., or even if we bring the best coaches on this earth to Ghana, the likes Sir Alex Ferguson, Seven Goran Erricsson, Sir Bobby Robson, Vincente Del Bosque, Louis Van Gaal, Hector Raul Cupper etc and we don't do things right, I am afraid we can't qualify for our maiden World Cup”.

I am not cursing Ghana, though. Let us have consistency in team-building, proper preparation, good coaching, player commitment. If this is done, the Black Stars will see their glory days, but if not, and we resort to ad hoc preparation, coach sacking and no money syndrome, our soccer will still be in the dungeons and countries like Afghanistan, Nauru, Myanmar, Macau, Uzebekistan Laos, Seychelles, Bhutan, Guam, Tonga, Reunion, Azerbaijan etc. will bypass us in the FIFA ranking.

If we don't do things right, soccer minnows like Fiji, Niue, Sao Tome & Principe, Djibouti, Tuvalu, Vietnam, Surinam, Vanuatu, Paupa New Guinea, etc. will be beating us and will qualify to the World Cup.

Please, GFA wake up! Let us start preparing the national team or national select side as Burkhard Ziese likes to call them, let us start preparing now for the World Cup preliminary qualifying match against Somalia. GFA, don't wait till the last minute before you start some ad hoc preparation which all know won't yield results. Are we waiting for lightening to strike twice? Or are we waiting for Somalia also to beat us?

Let's start preparing now. A word to the wise is enough. --Evans Tetteh Nartey (Asiamah) Is The FA Up To The Task? Dear Editor, Permit me space in your highly authoritative and reputable sports paper to comment on the gross incompetence exhibited by members of our football governing body (GFA) in whose hands the destiny of Ghana football has been entrusted.

When Uncle Ben was voted into the high office of GFA, many were those who thought at long last God had sent a messiah to rescue or salvage our soccer from the mess it was finding itself in.

Considering his vast experience in football, and putting down his achievements on paper from playing to coaching and his administrative abilities, uncle merits the job. However, recent trends have made most football fans equivocal about uncle Ben's administrative capability of moving Ghana football forward.

Uncle Ben has shattered the hopes of those of us who thought his administration could have turned things for the better.

Though Ghana football had been on the decline before old Ben took over, the situation wasn't exacerbating as it is now. FIFA rankings attest to the fact that our football is actually in crisis and this is as a result of incompetence on the part of our football authorities.

It is very sombre that for the first time in twelve good years, Ghana will not be represented in next year's Nations Cup in Tunisia as a result of Uncle Ben's administration signing of a controversial, adamant, incompetent and intransigent coach in the person of Burkhard with his outdated coaching tactics. No wonder we were subjugated at the Kigali battle under Burkhard supervision. Was Afranie not on course by beating Rwanda here in Ghana?

Our national Under-17 team which was the pride of every Ghanaian could not also qualify in 2001 and this year's Nations Cup due to the implementation of a so-called five-year-development plan which does not allow young talented players from our premier clubs to feature for the U-17 team.

The likes of Kwadwo Poku (King Faisal), Azumah Nelson (Hearts), Yakubu Shaibu (Goldfields), Michael Ofosu Appiah (soccer CID) of Asante Kotoko, just to mention but a few, are all good materials for the Black Starlets.

However, Uncle Ben's five-year development plan will not give them the chance to lace their boots for the national U-17 team.

From all indications, it seems the task is too ponderous for Uncle Ben and his men as they do more talking rather than doing the real work on the ground. In fact serious overhauling need to be carried out at the GFA and I call on Mr Baah Wiredu to do this to save Ghana football.

I will love and welcome the day when soccer fans of this great nation will also embark on 'MARCH FOR SURVIVAL' for Ghana football against GFA members for their gross incompetence and total failure.

Seidu Rafui, P. O. Box 106, Wa.

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