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03.09.2003 Football News

Burkhard Ziese Spills The "Beans"

By B.Z
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Burkhard Zeise's Press Statement - Part I Below is the first part of Burkhard’s press statement which is unedited....... The preparation for the ‘Black Stars’ as well as for the Olympic team started already as from March 1, 2003. Unfortunately Coach Malik Jabir left on the day the GFA appointed him as Goalkeeper’s Coach and took over the position as Technical Director with Kumasi Asante Kotoko FC. The press conference on the same day started about 50 minutes late. The reason for it was as follows. On February 14, 2003, the Head of State of the Republic of Ghana, President J. A. Kufuor “today decried the low level of performance of the national soccer team, saying that steps are being taken to reverse this state of affairs. He also said that: “the country has not been doing well at all in football and our performance in other games is no better.” (ghanaweb.com) On February 20 I received a telefax from the GFA to my German home. Subject: “Appointment of Senior National Team Coach”.... You have been offered the position of the coach for the Senior National Team for one year subject to extension for two more years. I arrived in Ghana on February 26, 2003 after I had received the necessary vaccination, which is compulsory to enter Ghana and to get a work permit. On the evening of February 28, at 8 p.m. the first and only meeting was scheduled with the GFA to discuss the details of our contract. The GFA was represented by two lawyers, of which one was the Chairman of the Black Stars Management Committee (BSMC) Mr O.B. Amoah. Two friends of whom one is also a lawyer represented me. It was clear that the GFA was not prepared at all in regard of the contract. I was given the same draft contract as my pre-predecessor Coach Zivadinovic had received it nine months earlier. This can be seen from the letterhead: year 2002 and not 2003 and from the wording in regard of: ‘Family’ means the coach, his wife and two children not above eighteen years of age. Everyone knew from my CV that I have no two children! Although I had sent the GFA three weeks earlier a generally approved contract, my proposed contract was never discussed. Sentence by sentence. We went through their draft contract and whenever we agreed on alterations I made counter hand written changes in my draft contract and Mr Amoah did it on his draft. A very important issue was, that the financial terms would NOT appear in the contract but would be in a separate ‘schedule’. On that evening we only agreed on the monthly salary, the per diem allowance when outside the country and that NO signing on fee will be paid but instead an end of term benefit equivalent to two months salary. The meeting ended after about three hours and we agreed that Mr Amoah would take the agreement the next morning to his office and that all agreed terms and alterations would be re-written in a new contract. The press conference was scheduled for the next morning, March 1, 2003 at 10 a.m. Mr Amoah came late to the GFA Chairman’s office. I was asked to sign the contract immediately since the press was already waiting for about half an hour. I did not sign the contract blind and read through it. I was shocked. The majority of our agreed alterations were NOT corrected in the now “original agreement.” I Refused To Sign The Contract Frantic discussions started what we can do about it since and the press became impatient. We finally agreed that the most important clauses and sentences where mistakenly NO changes had been made by Mr Amoah, the GFA Chairman and myself would countersign on the side of each clause and that the two parties concerned would later sign a correct and new re-written contract again. Until today neither the contract has been re-written and signed and secondly also the financial schedule has not even been further discussed, agreed and signed. I have several times informed the General Secretary as well as the GFA Chairman about these loopholes. On June 4, I wrote a letter to the Chairman and once again reminded him of these problems. In his answering letter of June 5, he assured me that it would be done. On March 5, a letter was sent from GFA to the sponsor L-SPORTO saying that: “the GFA has appointed Mr B. Ziese, a German as the substantive head coach of the Senior National Team, Black Stars, for a period of two years!” Question: how come suddenly for two years? As from March 1, I observed 10 matches of the LG4 tournament and assessed players. This gave me a first impression about the local players. Unfortunately only four teams participated. From March 6 to 14, a National Select team camp was held in Tema with 24 local based players. The players, except William Tiero and Issah Ahmed, were not named and not invited by me but by the GFA and my Assistant Coach, Mr Paha. On March 10, a meeting was held in Kumasi with the Premier League coaches of the northern sector. On March 14 another meeting was held in Accra with the Premier League coaches of the southern sector. On March 19, prior to our 4-Nation tournament in Tunisia, I requested the GFA in writing to observe and assess some of our European-based players. The GFA Chairman granted the request. I observed players in Germany and Belgium. On Sunday, March 23, a delegation of eight officials and seven local-based players left for a Four Nation Tournament in Tunisia. 15 European-based professional players joined the team. On March 31, when in Kigali/Rwanda I sent an official complaint via e-mail to the GFA’s General Secretary I complaint that the GFA had still not finalised my life and disablement insurance. I never received any answer from GFA. On April 5, I wrote a stern and clear letter to the player Sammy Kuffour via his German Club Bayern Munich. Since I am a professional I will NOT leak to the press what I told Sammy K. in my letter. What is important is that he later played once again for Ghana after an absence of 18 months due to problems with the GFA! According to my observations the player’s complaint were mainly correct. On April 8, I returned to Ghana from my observation trip to Rwanda, Germany, Belgium and Holland. On April 11, I sent a memo to the GFA in regard of my letter to player S. Kuffour. The GFA never responded to this memo. From April 14 to 17 a special goalkeepers training camp was held in Tema with seven goalkeepers and nine field players. On April 17, I sent a memo to the General Secretary in regard of the ex-international player Emmanuel Armah and his wish to join Samartex FC. The GFA had intentionally delayed Armah’s issue to prevent him from playing in the middle-league for Samartex. This resulted in the non-promotion of Samartex FC to the Premier League. I asked the General Secretary to arrange a meeting between him, the Chairman of the Status Committee and the Chairman of the DOL Board. I have never received any answer on my request. Later Samartex FC took GFA to court. On April 17, I wrote another memo to the General Secretary in regard of the players I. Boakye and M. Osei of Asante Kotoko. Both players were absent from the last national team camp and that disciplinary action should be taken to install discipline in the national teams. No action was taken by the GFA. On April 24 the Welfare Officer, Mr Fianoo wrote a memo via my office to the General Secretary in regard of the welfare of the local players and their T&T allowance. No letter was ever discussed and changes were NOT made. This is a clear negligence of the local-based players by the GFA. On April 25, a memo was sent to the GFA’s PRO Mr Asante requesting to send telefaxes out to 61 foreign-based Ghanaian professionals via their club. The main content was their availability for the two remaining qualifying matches against Uganda and Rwanda. On April 28 a memo was sent to the GFA Chairman reminding him that certain issues of my contract have not been settled. Another memo was sent on April 28 to the GFA Chairman reminding him that certain issues of my contract have not been settled. Another memo was sent on April 28 to the GFA Chairman on the issue of disciplinary action against the Asante Kotoko players M. Osei and Isaac Boakye. The situation in regard of the T&T allowances and the Don Bortey issue. I told the GFA in writing that the problem lies with the GFA not the players. On April 28, the player Don Bortey and his club, Accra Hearts of Oak apologised to me in writing. On April 28, the GFA Chairman authorised me to negotiate on behalf of the GFA to arrange international friendly matches and/or tournaments. On April 29, the GFA Chairman issued me a letter, which authorised me to negotiate on behalf of the GFA with all kinds of sponsors. From April 29 to May 5, on U-23 training camp with 22 local based players was held in Obuasi. Once again the Kotoko player Isaac Boakye did not report to camp. On May 6, the GFA wrote a letter to FIFA in regard of player Charles Taylor. On May 6, I took the opportunity to give the GFA, beside some other valuable points, a clear explanation in regard of the C. Taylor in connection with “FIFA’s Regulations for the Status and Transfer of Players.” The GA has never put my memo in consideration and was finally responsible for the “mess-up” of the C. Taylor “saga”. On May 7, my memo to the GFA Chairman in regard of: a) my salary b) reimbursement of outstanding due me c) office equipment: Internet, telefax, IDD etc. On May 16, my memo to the General Secretary in regard of: a) procurement of equipment for the Olympic squad b) to appoint Edward Ansah during his three-month holiday as an Assistant Goalkeeper Coach. At no time the GFA bought equipment for the team and they also refused, but only on June 30, the appointment of E. Ansah. On May 16, I informed the GFA by memo about the dubious registration of player D. Coleman for Accra Hearts of Oak. I finally stated that: I would appreciate if the situation could be resolved before any harm could be done to the GFA or Accra Hearts of Oak. May 19, memo to GFA in regard of outstanding telephone bills from my apartment and second office, the Adwoa Wangara. The bills have until now not been settled. From May 20 till May 23 training camp for the U-23 team with 17 local-based players. May 20, memo to General Secretary in regard of player C. Taylor. I finally stated: “I do not see any reason at all why we as the National Coaches should suffer from the disputes between clubs, the players and according to my personal view, the unnecessary interference (at this stage) by the GFA”. The GFA never acted on this memo, instead they later suspended C. Taylor for four months. What a silly decision! The player did not play for any team and the suspension was for the past three-and-a-half months and therefore it was a suspension for only two weeks. On May 20, I wrote a clear and stern memo to the GFA’s General Secretary with the headline: Continuous Breach Of Contract Between The Ghana Football Association And Burkhrard Ziese Once again, also this memo was never answered or discussed by the GFA. May 22 was one of the worst days since my arrival in Ghana. After the match with the U-23 against the Ladies National Team, the Black Queens, the Chairman of the Black Stars Management Committee, Mr O. B. Amoah came to the stadium to see. He told me point blank that we have to send a team to the 4-Nation Tournament in Nigeria. This is an instruction from the “Castle” and if I would not want to go I can take my annual sick leave and stay at home. Beside this he also mentioned that if I do not agree, that even my best friend may lose his job (name for obvious reasons withheld) and other relevant issues. This, beside some other incidents, was the worst breach of contract by the GFA. How can anyone mention the “Castle” (Government) to put pressure on me? We later discussed the matter in detail together with my Assistant Coach Paha at the Ministry of Youth, Education and Sports. On May 23, memo to the General Secretary in regard of procurement of kit for the Black Stars in connection with the Welfare Officer’s report of May 14. No action was ever taken by the GFA. On May 23, memo to the General Secretary reminding him to procure equipment for the Olympic team in regard of previous memo of May 16. No action was ever taken by the GFA. On May 24, the U-23 team beat the national team of Benin 1-0 at the Accra Stadium. On May 26, my memo to the General Secretary in regard of: a) Final preparation for the Black Stars match against Uganda; b) Immediate procurement of equipment for the Black Stars; c) The final training match against Asante Kotoko, organised by GHALCA. d) Appointment of Asante Kotoko’s Assistant Coach Frimpong Manso as Assistant Coach for the Black Stars and the Olympic team for the period from June 2 till 30, 2003. The GFA Chairman refused to appoint Frimpong although Kotoko had released him. No action was taken in regard of point b). The 10 footballs and the hard stud shoes we bought from the ¢100,000,000 given to the players and the officials of the Black Stars team from our generous sponsor, Guinness. Until today the GFA has not refunded the Welfare Officer with the amount of ¢49,980,000, including ¢40,000,000 advanced payment to the hotel the two teams stayed in during their preparation for the four matches against Uganda, Liberia and Rwanda. This led to the unbelievable situation that the players and officials have not been paid their share of ¢3,703,703 each. I questioned the GFA where the money is and why it has not been paid to the remaining individual players and officials. To Be Continued

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