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15.07.2003 Sports News

Listen To The Players

By Graphic Sports
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In the aftermath of Rwanda’s shock bundling of the Black Stars out of Tunisia 2004, there has been no shortage of probing questions about Coach Burkhard Ziese. In a more blunt manner, so many people have called for the termination of the coach’s appointment, although there are others who hold a contrary view.

As a matter of fact, FA boss, Ben Koufie, sides with persons against the removal of Burkhard Ziese. Speaking on an Accra radio station last Friday, he made it clear that there was no plan to terminate the coach’s appointment. However, against the background of the snowballing of public resentment against the retention of the services of the coach, we wonder whether the stand of the FA chairman is the best under the circumstances.

Much as public outcry may not necessarily reflect sound judgement at all times, it is true that the acceptance or otherwise of an issue of such national interest is gauged by public opinion. In this particular case, it is important that cognisance is taken of the players’ opinion because they are in a unique position to assess the performance of the coach. It is worth remembering that after the Kigali match, almost to a man, the players made no secret of their distaste for Burkhard’s style of coaching.

The FA can choose to ignore public opinion about Burkhard Ziese, but it can’t do the same about the opinion of the players. It can do that only at the peril of Ghana football. When we said last week that Burkhard must go, it was only after a painstaking assessment of all factors relevant to the matter.

Our position hasn’t changed because we are convinced that Ghana will lose nothing by dispensing with the services of the coach. On the contrary, there could be more gnashing of teeth among Ghanaian football fans if Burkhard continues to handle the Stars.

There is no doubt that it pays in the long run to have continuity with regard to a team’s technical bench, but that is when there are clear signs of room for improvement. No one can be happy about how coaches have been changed in Ghana over the years, but the truth is that Burkhard offers little or no hope of turning things around for Ghana football.

For the good of Ghana football, we are convinced that Burkhard must give way to a more progressive coach.

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