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27.03.2007 Sports News

Osam Duodu To Stay?

By Daily Graphic
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Former Black Starlets coach, Bashiru Hayford, is unlikely to return to the job now despite serving the last of a long ban over the weekend.

Instead, his successor, Fred Osam-Duodu, has earned the vote of confidence of Ghanaian football officials despite the modest bronze medal he secured with the team.

With the expected reshuffle of the team for the World Cup in Korea Republic, only a few of the playing squad could be affected by the exercise intended to strengthen the team.

GFA Executive Committee member and head of Ghana's delegation to the Africa Under-17 football championship in Togo, Awuah Nyamekye, said another change of technical bench could impact negatively on the adaptation of the players to team strategy and systems.

“Do you think we have a bad coach? In any case, the national interest must override the interest of a single individual,” Mr Nyamekye told the Daily Graphic at the weekend.

Bashiru Hayford was handed an eight-match suspension by the continent's football controlling body, CAF, after being found guilty of misconduct in the Starlets' first leg qualifying game against Cote d'Ivoire in Abidjan.

He, was consequently, replaced by Osam-Duodu with the explanation that his suspension would rob Ghana of his services at both the African championship and the World Cup if the Starlets reached there.

Now with Kotoko, Coach Hayford has since served each one of the suspension first in the match in question, then in Kotoko's two matches against Port Authority of The Gambia in the CAF Champions League preliminary round.

The remaining suspension was cleared in Ghana's five matches leading up to the bronze prize at the Under-17 championship.

But Mr Nyamekye said the objective of Ghana's participation in the tournament hosted by Togo was achieved although the ultimate prize of a historic third time triumph eluded the two-time world champions.

“The objective was to reach the World Cup and ultimately develop talents for the future rather than win immediate laurels that cannot sustain the development and successes of Ghana football,” he said.

Osam-Duodu promised us the gold medal but faltered rather badly before Togo's Samer Abraw, while Nigeria's Ayodele Tella did what he said he would do by winning the cup, his team scoring 15 goals and conceding just one in five games.

He chose the easy path by blaming Camerounian referee, Omgba Zing, for flopping against Togo, despite benefiting from officiating error when he triumphed with The Gambia over Ghana at the 2005 edition.

What is certain now is the exclusion of some players from the list for Korea. While officials remain silent over the possible Korea dropouts, the likes of goalkeeper David Dadzie, Stephen Owusu-Ansah, Moses Otiboe, Paul Addo, Benjamin Owusu and are sure to make the trip to the World Cup.

Others are: Enoch Kofi Adu, Ishmael Yartey, Sadick Adams, Ransford Osei, Nathaniel Asamoah and Eric Opoku.