You are here: HomeSports2018 07 05Article 666126

Sports Features of Thursday, 5 July 2018

Source: Sammy Frimpong

Beneath the ice: Club's technical shuffling ‘Defies’ Ghana Football Freeze

There’s never a dull moment in Ghana football – no, not even when a seemingly indefinite ban has been imposed on the entire system.

The shutdown may have completely ruled out on-pitch action and activity at the Ghana Football Association while it lasts, but it hasn’t stopped clubs from carrying out day-to-day boardroom tasks required to keep going, especially that which they seem to enjoy executing most: firing and hiring coaches.

In the weeks since a ball was last kicked in the Ghanaian top-flight, three trainers have lost their jobs, with one substantive appointment being made at another club. Now, you might wonder just how a coach — three, at that — contrives to vacate his post even when he has precious little, if anything at all, to do in such practically idle times.

For the first casualty, Hearts of Oak’s Henry Wellington, the axe had been hovering over his head for a while, with the Phobians’ patchy form getting particularly worse toward the end of the league campaign’s first round. The writing was on the wall, his days numbered, and it seemed Hearts’ hierarchy — operating with a particularly sharp streak ever since American Mark Noonan took charge as CEO earlier this year — was merely biding its time to act. When it eventually did, the manner was swift, decisive, and ruthless.

For Wellington’s two more recently dismissed colleagues, Kenichi Yatsuhashi and Charles Akonnor (both former Hearts coaches, incidentally), their fate had little to do with performance issues, with their respective teams, Inter Allies and Ashantigold, 6th and 2nd on the league log. Akonnor’s case was preceded by a suspension for supposed dereliction of duty, while Allies’ statement announcing the Japanese’s exit revealed very little about exactly what necessitated the parting.

None of the three clubs has yet gone beyond naming interim replacements, but at bottom club Wa All Stars, there has been a long-term installation, with Jonas Amissah replacing the departed Sarfo Castro as the 2016 top-flight champions’ third technical head in a season that hasn’t gone too well.

With no end in sight for a thawing of the current frozen state of the domestic game, there’s still enough spare time for some more chopping and changing, and it would be interesting to see which clubs find reason to indulge in such an exercise. That queue, in a league where club administrators are notoriously trigger-happy, may not be a very short one, as you’d imagine.

Whatever happens, though, the Premier League — and, indeed, Ghanaian football in its entirety – is set to be a changed terrain when the end of the prevailing state of uncertainty and inactivity comes. And, needless to say, that end couldn’t come soon enough.