...Bawa and Koufie better have a logical explanation.
After hitting the road in search for a substantive coach for the Black Stars following the unceremonious departure of stop-gap coach Ralf Zumdick, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) reported it was inching closely to inking a deal with a coach from Portugal.
That was two weeks ago. Just last week an announcement of sorts was made confirming Mariano Jeronimo Barreto as the new top gun for the senior national team and the Meteors until 2006. Information that was provided to the public by the GFA advertised Barreto as a class act in a bid to make his appointment an easy sell.
Barreto, according to a story filed by the GNA sports desk and vouched for by its GFA sources had worked previously as an assistant coach with Locomotiv Moscow of Russia. It was also reported elsewhere that he had had a similar stint at German Bundesliga club side Borussia Dortmund.
Barreto would “earn not more than his predecessors” and instead of an enticement fee he would be given a one-time advance of his three months salary to help him settle.
The salary advance would be re-couped within 12 months through monthly deductions of 800 dollars.
He would also be provided with a 3-bedroom house, private security, a car and other facilities to enhance his work.
The agreement was apparently struck with FIFA player agent Lucido Ribeiro by Minister Rashid Bawa and GFA boss Ben Koufie early this year somewhere in the deserts of Algeria. Better still Afrique Football Magazine, owned by Ribeiro’s company would source for sponsorship for both teams and also arrange international matches as well as feature them in the magazine. EXPOSE It was good news-well that was before the media discovered that Senor Barreto had allegedly padded his CV to convince Bawa and Koufie that he was their man for the job.
An expose in the Soccer Express, a high flying sports paper brought out the conflicting and disturbing details about the man and his CV making both Bawa and Koufie the butt of ridicule.
Apart from blowing the whistle on the coach’s CV, the paper also presented a blow-by-blow repudiation on his claims.
On his assertion that he served as an assistant coach of Locomotiv Moscow, the paper says that is false.
Explaining it says Barreto is no more than a Physical Instructor who was signed to supervise the fitness levels of the team. It goes on to name Yuri P. Sernin and Vladimir as the substantive coach and deputy respectively.
Claims that he served in the same capacity at Borussia Dortmund was nothing but a charade, the paper noted.
His association with Dortmund was limited to a contractual relationship he had with Paolo Sousa-he was his fitness instructor. Other significant and incidental details are provided in the Soccer Express and at Ghana web. CLARIFICATION It is all fair and dandy that we got a clarification from agents of Barreto. Alex Ribeiro, son of Lucido jumped into the mix and tried to explain the issues away.
“It is a new direction of coaching. Carlos Queiroz, former coach of South Africa and assistant coach at Manchester United and Jorge Moremo of Porto are all fitness instructors.
Isn’t it interesting that all the coaches he mentioned happened to be Portuguese? ET TU RASHID BAWA & KOUFIE So how did Rashid Bawa and Ben Koufie contrive to miss all these that is if the Soccer Express story is true?
Did they fail in doing a detailed background check on this guy? Or maybe desperation to get a coach as the world cup and Olympic qualifiers draw closer made them clumsy?
To be fair I wouldn’t want to pass any judgement yet until they give us an official explanation.
Alex Ribeiro’s explanation would not pass the first blush of any serious test. I pray to God both Bawa and Koufie have a logical explanation to offer for this potential mess they have created.
The consequences would not be pleasant because I can feel the noose already tightening around their necks. By Paa Kwesi Plange (Gye Nyame Concord) [email protected]