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28.09.2002 Football News

FEATURE: Here we go again!

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THERE seems to be no end in sight for the cycle of puzzle that confounds Ghanaian football following the laughable rate of coaches turn over at the Black Stars level.

Until now the trend had become so disturbing that many thought that in terms of practising one's job as a coach, Ghana was a no-go area.

But the behaviour of coach Millan Zivadinovic, who according to the FA collected a total of $65,000, played only one match with the Black Stars and fled, has turned the whole country's football establishment into a laughing stock.

With that act, similar to a 419 motion picture and perhaps worse than what sent Mallam Yusif Isa to prison, serious questions are being asked about the judgement of those who vetted that erratic Yugoslav.

There was his track record in Iraq and his own country to provide clues to his character.

In both countries, he walked out of contracts unilaterally. And before he secured the Ghana contract, he insisted on a clause that would enable either party to opt out within six months.

This was also a man who claimed in his CV that his spoken English and French were above average. Yet, soon after securing the job demanded an interpreter to be paid by the state.

Dazed by Millan's disappearance, the FA quickly announced the appointment of Mr E. K. Afranie to stand in and steer the Stars through the remaining Nations Cup qualifiers.

Afranie's appointment returns Ghana to the same rigmarole of digging deep into the national kitty to employ a foreign coach. He runs into problems with officialdom, leaves or gets sacked then a local coach is picked to fill the gap while the search is renewed for a new whiteman.

From Burkhard Ziese, who actually took Ghana to FIFA at a huge financial loss to the state, and later Giusseppe Dossena, the story has remained the same and the Ghanaian game stagnated.

Given that condemnable history, we would like to join other like-minded forces to ensure that the right mechanisms are put in place to give the technical handling of the Stars a clean bill of health.

Afranie himself must get his bearings clear: under what conditions is he being asked to step in? Will he get the financial, material and logistic support, as offered Millan, to function well?

We wait for the dust to settle on those matters, but while we wait let the GFA go all out, even to FIFA, to recover what the nation has lost by coach Zivadinovic's fraudulent behaviour.

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