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Sports News of Tuesday, 26 May 2020


Asamoah Gyan speaks on Ghana coach Akonnor and player selection

Black Stars coach CK Akonnor Black Stars coach CK Akonnor

Ghana ace Asamoah Gyan wants CK Akonnor's job as Black Stars head coach to be free of any interference.

Akonnor has been at the helm of affairs since replacing James Kwasi Appiah in January.

“CK is a man of his word. I have had a meeting with him and people who are close to him can testify that no one can dictate to him," Gyan, Ghana's all-time top scorer and most-capped player with 51 goals 106 internationals, told Adom FM.

"He will do what favours him as a coach in the sense that when things do not go on well, he takes the blame.

“We Ghanaians should allow the coach to do his work. He should take control of the national team so that when things go wrong, he can be blamed.

“If you [force] players on him and he doesn't perform, whom are you going to blame? But I think CK has played in Germany and with his mentality, no one can dictate to him.

"I’m reliably informed that he quit most of the clubs [he coached] because he didn't want anyone to dictate for him."

The Ghana job is Akonnor's first head coaching job with a national team.

He briefly joined the Black Stars as an assistant coach under Appiah last November before taking over the mantle as head coach two months later.

At club level, however, the former Wolfsburg captain has had separate stints with local giants Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak - Ghana's two biggest clubs.

He has also worked with four-time Premier League champions Ashanti Gold, Dreams FC and lower division side Eleven Wise.

Akonnor has been set an immediate target of leading Ghana to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year. The Black Stars have not won the title since 1982.

At the 2019 edition in Egypt last year, the four-time champions were bundled out of the competition by Tunisia at the Round of 16, the first time the Black Stars failed to reach the quarter-final since 2006.

Akonnor has also been tasked to secure Ghana a return to the World Cup after a disappointing 2018 qualification campaign.

Gyan, who was on the books of Chinese Super League side NorthEast United last season, would hope to convince Akonnor for a Ghana recall, having been successively snubbed since featuring at Afcon 2019.