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10.09.2004 Football News

Barreto’s Unceremonious Departure More To It Than Meets Eye

By Michael Quaye
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Former Black Stars Coach, Cecil Jones Attuquayefio, has asked for a thorough assessment of the system that did not permit coach Mariano Barreto to see through the full duration of his contract with Ghana, and to correct any lapses to forestall their recurrence.

"Here is somebody who left in midstream, we need to trace the reasons why he left. That means there is more to it and we have to look at it in the same light than to just jump to any hasty conclusions," Coach Attuquayefio told the Graphic Sports last Wednesday.

"If he is gone, why did he go, is that thing being resolved or what do we do to improve it?

"It is not a matter of just changing the coach, so I believe that we have to trace the root cause of what led to the exit of the man," said Coach Attuquayefio, who has begun a second stint with Hearts of Oak.

Coach Barreto left Accra last Monday for his native Portugal with the full blessings of his employers, but without a hint of his new job with Portuguese side, SC Maritimo, as reported on the UEFA website last Tuesday.

Reasons for the Coach's reported severed ties with Ghana have ranged from an unfriendly local media to an irresistable offer from the Portuguese club side to the lure of playing in the UEFA Cup, but coach Attuquayefio insisted that there could be more to it than meets the ordinary eye.

"If even he left and wouldn't like to say everything, I am convinced that there is more to it than we see on the surface.

"Those who are interested should get to the bottom of it and see how best that problem could be solved, for this is not a matter of just finding somebody as a stop-gap or just finding a new coach."

When Coach Attuquayefio was kicked out of the Black Stars job three years ago after being in charge of Ghana's first three World Cup qualifiers for Japan/Korea 2002, it was under circumstances he regarded unacceptable, and despite his protest the GFA's decision stood.

After him, six others including Germans Ralf Zumdick and Burkhard Ziese have stepped into the post of national coach for Ghana, but none saw a long relationship.

A day after Coach Barreto's unannounced resignation hit the Ghanaian public, the Hearts coach, who took Benin to its first Nations Cup appearance in Tunisia this year, was touted the best fill-in from the native stock, at least for Ghana's next Group Two World Cup qualifier against D.R. Congo on October 10.

Although delighted by his mention for the job, Coach Attuquayefio insisted that the temptation of finding a replacement without delving into the circumstances that forced the Portuguese out has the potential of reinstating an anomally.

"It is a pride for every Ghanaian to work for his country, therefore if I am recognised I feel very delighted. In any case, I have not had any official approach from any body and I will not like to discuss the subject," he said.

“But we have to go into why he left, other than that the problem will still be there and will recur when another coach comes in.

”He is currently tied to a contract with Hearts till the end of the year.