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21.06.2005 Sports News

Ghana Football Association

Brobbey , Michael

The Ghana Football Association has not been blessed with visionaries enough to have laid strong foundational principles to have governed football in Ghana. From one GFA executive to another, remedial measures have been implemented but without much success. Ghana Football Association cannot be exempted of corrupt practices in Ghana's administration malfeasances. The night is far spent; our Ministry of Sports will have to rise to give the modus-operandi to move Ghana football forward. Effectively setting up the right practical policies for footballing in Ghana, will be one way to obtain the maximum yield from the natural talents abounding in Ghana and also provide the impetus for the growth of football. In the least GFA may borrow management skill and policies from the successful football countries for local clubs and national teams. Then also five years regular reviews of the laws and policies will help update our game with emerging trends and developments in soccer.

Our Ministry of Sports will have to at least provide the essential policies and frame work for football management in local clubs. The success of local clubs and players will invariably bear on the national team and the economy. Like the poor performance of the government in nurturing the ingenuity of local people, the talents and skill of talented Ghanaian players are being made to end in slums. It is painful that a country such as Japan which introduced football league in only 1994 can qualify for the World Cup whiles Ghana, abounding in talents and having played organized football as far as the 70's cannot boast of a single World Cup appearance. Though clubs are properties of individuals, the government will have to appreciate that the successful running of the clubs will boost the economy. Also players who will be transferred outside Ghana will benefit the nation in income and exposure besides the players and their clubs. The exploitation of Ghanaian players by managers and foreign teams will have to end.

I remember not when we started contracting foreign coaches, but what can one proudly write home about all foreign coaches who have worked in Ghana. I request that the trophies won courtesy of foreign coaches from club level to the national team be made public. Reaching the final is not equal to winning the trophy, and that is what matters. But talk of Ghanaian coaches and in the 21st century, they are still winning at least African trophies. Ghanaian coaches are the best for Ghana. I am informed about the insubordination of foreign-based footballers toward local coaches and have been cited severally for the refusal of GFA to hire local coaches. Our leadership will have to learn that coaching is more than just sending footballers to the field for training. Modern coaching is about psyching the footballer and also instilling discipline into the footballer. And a coach must be able to do both. Our institutions are to train coaches to meet our needs as a people. Ethics for conduct at clubs and at the national team and on the field of play should be established and taught to footballers in a possible dialect. Punishment for misconduct should be stipulated. If our footballers are properly tutored and monitored at least at camp and training grounds, we shall be turning out desirable elements. This is one way of curbing the supposed indiscipline among our footballers.

One worthy policy is in the nurturing of players into coaches, on retirement. This the GFA is pursuing to some degree, but opportunities for their employment are lacking. I have been bothered by the virtual unemployment of Ghanaian coaches whiles we spend thousands of dollars on foreign coaches who have never won us a trophy and can never do. We are building our nation, and employing our nationals will have to be important to us. Besides our local coaches can communicate best to our players, who are all Ghanaians. The Polo's and Razak's who won the African cup as footballers can do it. If one cannot, a pool of local coaches may do. Are we saying that the Joe Debrahs cannot offer any good ball handling skills? What of the Stephen Appiahs when they retire? I wish those who advertise for foreign coaches to also obtain foreign players to play the game for us. We are able. The earlier the government institutes a scheme towards a sound future for Ghana football the better.

There is the urgent need for the Minister of Sports to coalesce club management and footballers to formulate framework and policies for the development of soccer in Ghana. Ethical principles will have to govern football in Ghana as we do away with the exploitative schemes of the past. The common good of all should take the center stage. It is unfortunate most of our past talented footballers cannot make a living out of the football when they retire. It is painful as we look at the cherished game of Ghanaians bereft of trophies. Let all who love this noble game and industry rise and act prudently to move Ghana football forward. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

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