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29.05.2006 Sports News

Coach under pressure to quit

By Andnetwork

With less than two weeks for the soccer World Cup tournament to begin, Ratomir Dujkovic, the Ghana coach is under pressure to quit.

The Ghanaians are demanding the sacking of Dujkovic after his alleged racists' comments in a Germany newspaper. The Serbian Coach is alleged to have black Africans lack discipline; Dujkovic has denied the allegations saying he was misquoted.

Ghana fans called for the Coach's head when Ghana failed to sail past the group stage in the January African Nations Cup in Egypt

Ghana soccer coach Ratomir Dujkovic appears to have scored an own goal, barely two weeks before the commencement of the World Cup in Germany, and fans are screaming for him to be shown the red card.

The Serb, who has been loved and hated in his job in Ghana, touched some raw nerves in remarks he was alleged to have made in an interview with a German newspaper, Sport Bild.

Dujkovic has denied making what were described as racist remarks, but livid Soccer fans want him fired.

“He should be sacked immediately. I don't see what he has done so far, and to add insult to injury, he has insulted us,” said Henry Oduro, an IT specialist. “We have two weeks to go, and (Ghana) coaches Jones Attuquayefio and Sam Arday can handle the team.”

Dujkovic was quoted by Sport Bild as saying: “Discipline is the biggest problem with black Africans. But as I sacked Sammy (Kuffour of AS Roma) from the team, everybody knew not to play with me.”

The pro-government Statesman newspaper on Friday led with a banner headline “Go to hell racist Doya (Dujkovic),” and reported that the Ghana Football Association (GFA) would fire the Serb “in the next few days.” Dujkovic's remark is said to have caused a lot of agitation in the Black Stars camp, the Statesman said.

He has said he was misquoted and told an Accra radio station Friday that what was published did not exactly represent his statement. “Of course, I made this interview, but what was put in the public wasn't actually what I said,” he told Joy FM.

“Some things are OK, some are not. I talked about discipline, and I said in Africa, generally, the players are indisciplined because they have different mentality. I never said black Africans are indisciplined.”

Dujkovic became a hero in Ghana when, after stepping in as coach following the sudden departure of Portuguese Mariano Barreto, the team started winning and qualified for Ghana's first-ever World Cup. His no-nonsense disciplinary attitude curtailed excesses of players, and Dujkovic appeared to be flying high.

But fans called for his head when Ghana failed to sail past the group stage in the January African Nations Cup in Egypt. Dujkovic argued that five key players who featured in the World Cup qualification were absent, and he described Ghanaians as ungrateful.

AND Africa/DPA

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