The chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, has ruled out the possibility that Sellas Tetteh will be the assistant coach for the Black Meteors at the Athens Olympics.
He insists that the current high morale in the Meteors training camp in Portugal is such that any attempt to impose anything on the head coach, Mariano Barreto, can affect the team's preparations.Briefing the Graphic Sports on his return from a recent familiarisation visit to the Meteors in Portugal, Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe conceded that though the issue between Barreto and Sellas, was on his agenda, he realised that raising the matter could foul the atmosphere in camp.
He preferred that Sellas concentrated on his role as the assistant coach of the Black Stars as recommended by Barreto.Coach Barreto dropped the Liberty Professionals head coach from his team for the training tour of Portugal, advising him to concentrate on his role in the senior national team.
As a result of this latest development, former international, Edward Ansah, has been mandated by the GFA to act in a dual capacity as the assistant coach cum goalkeepers' trainer for the Meteors in Athens as requested by the Portuguese.Ansah who replaces Dodoo Ankrah as the goalkeepers' trainer was scheduled to leave Accra yesterday to join the Meteors in Portugal.
With barely nine days to their opening Group B match against Italy in Volos, the GFA chairman disclosed that the entire team was hopeful of making it to the final. According to him, the team has at its disposal first class training facilities and is undergoing intensive and vigorous training at a camp situated at the outskirts of Lisbon, with a high level of discipline among the players. “Barreto is very much in control of the team”, he emphasised.
He also revealed that the players were very well attired courtesy the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) which has provided the team with enough kit for the Games. He described Coach Barreto as a nationalist and a popular figure in soccer circles in Portugal.
Coach Barreto forwarded a 22-man squad to the Games' organisers last week. Conspicuously missing from the list was Michael Essien whose club, Olympique Lyon, failed to release him for the U-23 competition.
For now, Barreto is keeping his final 18 to his chest. However, the four players who fail to make the final team will still join the team to Athens to make up for any eventuality.
The Meteors have so far played three trial matches against local sides winning 8-0, 2-1 and 5-1 respectively.
The team is expected to engage in a four-cornered tournament involving Benfica, European champions FC Porto and Paris St. Germain slated for August 6-8 before leaving for Portugal on August 9, three days to their crucial opener against Italy.