The former head coach of the national Under-17 team, the Black Starlets, David Duncan, has called for the establishment of a committee of enquiry to investigate why the team failed to glitter at the Peru 2005 World Cup. “I will never never take responsibility for what took place in Peru, I have never taken responsibility for it because I was never responsible for the dismal performance that took place in Peru, and I want a committee made up of level-headed and genuine people to look into events leading to Peru and what took place there”, Duncan told the Graphic Sports in an exclusive interview at Obuasi.
“They should open up an enquiry into it. I am putting it on record because in my report to the FA I stated everything in black and white and so if they think they are interested in the development of Ghana football they should open up an enquiry and let's delve into it,” he emphasised. Duncan, who now coaches Obuasi-based Ashantigold FC, said the present Starlets squad nearly missed the African U-17 tournament slated for Togo in March by a whisker because those poor conditions were still there.
He recounted an incident where at the very last minute the management caused a major change in his team in the name of old age which, according to him, drastically and much so absolutely shook the very fabric of his team. “Why didn't they go to the schools and colleges to select players who they claimed would not be over age but bend over backwards to come and pick Premier League players including my boys at Ashantigold? ” he queried.
With pain in his voice and sadness on his face, Duncan said “it is sad that I am being taunted to have failed with the Starlets. Sometimes it amazes me because the media seem not to have the facts of what went on in Peru”. “There is a report on that with the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, the General Secretary of the GFA and I also have a copy. Get a copy, see what is in it and you will understand what went on in Peru, you will also come to realise how two players shared one Lux soap for bathing and also for washing their equipment,” he added.
Duncan said it amazes him to read and listen to reports that suggest that he failed with the Starlets and therefore did not deserve any national job. “What about the coach who failed with the Starlets but was still given the national Under-20 team, the Satellites. He failed again, yet he was still given the Satellites for the second time and he failed again, so if it has got to do with performance, it shouldn't have been him in the first place after the first failure. So definitely my not getting a national job has nothing to do with performance, maybe I am not in their good books,” he argued.
He questioned whether anybody has really found out what really happened in Peru. “Two weeks to my first match, the team was totally dismantled and I went there at the highest level of the competition and nobody beat me, so sometimes you need to critically analyse such situations and make very good conclusions,” he lamented. Asked who was to blame, Duncan quickly responded, “that is why I have called for the establishment of a committee of enquiry to investigate because it will be my word against somebody else's word.” “Look, a committee of enquiry was set up into how Gambia was eliminated that early because they gave them everything and they didn't deliver.
They went to the UK and the USA, if you prepare adequately that is where you ask questions or set up a committee to look into why we failed in Peru. They should do the same and let us see the kind of discoveries that will come up”. He bemoaned the situation where coaches are used as escape goats all the time. “Ghanaians just think that coaches are probably of less importance, he is the person who can be chopped and changed at anytime when things go bad like a lamb being led to the slaughter house. You accept the blame so that you can get the job next time.”