RATOMIR DUJKOVIC, the head coach of the Black Stars, has debunked statements making the rounds that he has been managing some national players. The Serbian coach, who was speaking at a news conference, contended, "I only connect players to foreign clubs, when scouts approached me, but I don't manage players, as it is being peddled around."
He pointed out that, he did not possess the requisite qualification, to acquire the player-agent status, stressing that, he only facilitates contracts of players.
During the course of the Stars' CAN 2006 matches, media reports had it that, players were being allowed to sign contracts, just a night ahead of a crucial final group match.
Asante Kotoko's skipper, Gabriel Issah Ahmed, Hearts of Oak's Prince Tagoe, as well as Chievo Verona's Jo! hn Mensah, all secured foreign contracts, and have already, appended their signatures to the contracts.
Tagoe refused a deal with German side, Mainz, and opted for Saudi Arabian champion, Al Ittihad, for 18 months, while John Mensah signed for Stade Rennais of France, moving, on loan, from Italy's AC Chiervo Verona, till the end of the season.
Ahmed was also reported to have signed for Danish side, Randers FC, while Laryea Kingston, also moved from FC Terek to Lokomotiv Moscow. The deals were all signed last week, Monday, to beat the deadline of the closure of the transfer market, especially in Europe.
While the Tagoe deal is reportedly worth $1million, the details of the other deals are yet to be made public.
Intriguingly, at a well-attended news conference, yesterday, the Ghana Football Association's (GFA's) president, Lawyer Kwasi Nyantakyi, affirmed he did not sight! any signing documents, meaning that, the deals amazingly, happened without his knowledge.
Reacting to media reports, which stated that, most officials, who accompanied the team to the on-going Nations Cup finals, were accompanied by their girlfriends, the FA president disclosed that the association never made any provision for girlfriends.
According to Lawyer Nyantakyi, no official travelled with a girlfriend. "It was only Fred Pappoe, Stars management committee chairman, and Kofi Nsiah, FA general secretary, who took their wives along", he divulged.
Commenting on the fate of Stars' technical team, which was blamed by the Stars after their CAN 2006 tourney exit, the FA president stated that, two, or three technical men, would soon be recruited to scout players for the national team, ahead of the World Cup finals.
He added that, two local coaches will operate outside the re! gular set up of the technical team, and will only submit their reports and recommendations to the head coach.
The move, according to Lawyer Nyantakyi, is in response to a request made by Dujkovic, for the increment of his technical team, and scouting technique, ahead of the World Cup championship.
Commenting on the FA's late appeal of Kingston's four-match ban, it appeared that, the lateness was due to ignorance on the part of the FA.
The FA was expected to appeal through the Local Organising Committee of the CAN 2006 tourney, or the match-official of the Stars' battle against Senegal's Teranga Lions, which teed off on Friday, January 27, 2006.
According to Mr. Nyantakyi, the Local Organising Committee of CAN 2006 asked his outfit to send its appeal letter to CAF's headquarters, in Cairo, adding that, the appeal was made within the CAF's stipulated three-hour period. He added that, the FA was subsequently told to send the letter to the LOC's outfit, after the three-hour period had elapsed, lamenting that, the Ghanaian FA was not invited to defend its appeal. Revamp Stars' Technical Team-MPs
MEMBERS OF Parliament have called for the revamping of the Black Stars, so as to avoid the conclusion that Ghana's qualification for the World Cup finals was a fluke.
While majority of the members indicated their strong aversion to foreign coaches, other suggested the inclusion of local and experienced coaches to beef up the technical bench.
In his urgent statement to Parliament, yesterday, on the dismal performance of the Stars in the on-going African Cup of Nations tournament, in Egypt, the ranking member for youth and sport of Parliament for Chiana-Paga, Hon Pele Abuga, bemoaned the series of defeats, before and after the commencement of the African tourney.
He recalled with much pain the defeat of the Stars by the less-fancied Zimbabwean side, and remarked that "this is a very sad saga of defeats for a World Cup finalist."
The member called for a critical re-appraisal, and re-organisation of the team, before plunging into the World Cup tourney.
"It is true Ghana played without some of its key players, like Michael Essien and Sulley Ali Muntari, but in the World Cup finals, where things are sharper, rough and intense, missing one of two key players, should not disorganise a team, completely, " he observed.
Hon. Abuga made a suggestion to Coach Ratomir Dujkovic to look further a field, and invite strong and talented youthful players into the squad. He argued that, a few of those boys play better than some of the present national players, but expressed regret, that," we only ignore them, because they are not! playing professional soccer, outside Ghana." The chairman of the committee on youth, sports and culture, Hon. Joe Baidoo-Ansah, and Member of Parliament for Effia Kwesimintsim, praised the coach, players, as well as supporters for doing their best. He was of the view that, sports should bring Ghanaians together, instead of dividing them.
The chairman expressed the need for competent coaches and dedicated players to deliver the goods.
The member for Saga, Hon Alfred Abagateye, urged the Ghana Football Association (GFA) to sit up, and look carefully into the release of the country's foreign-based players, in good time, for national assignments, like other countries, the world over.
Hon Hasan Abdul-Rahid, member for Wa Central, suggested the implementation of a consistent National Youth Policy, and called for a complete over-hauling of the Sports Ministry.