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Opinions of Thursday, 15 October 2015

Columnist: Graphic.com.gh

The President that never was?

He was the self-acclaimed President waiting to be appointed at Kumasi Asante Kotoko last weekend, but with Manhyia still muted over the expectant decision, Samuel Osei Kuffour has been left guessing when.

Over a week ago when news of Osei Kuffour’s imminent appointment to take over the reins at Kotoko made the rounds, with the Ghana and Bayern Munich star throwing himself feverishly into the fray, we expressed our disquiet in this very column.

Our point really was whether the replacement of Opoku Nti with Kuffour would make any significant difference at Kotoko at all, given the fact that these were two former national football stars with little or no training or background in club administration.

It was our point, arguably, that whatever Opoku Nti was lacking as CEO of Kotoko to necessitate his removal would hardly be recompensed with Kuffour as replacement. Indeed, they are two of a kind, except that Kuffour is more financially endowed.
We will say it any day that for the kind of administrative structure being envisaged at Kotoko, we’d rather an administrator of the stature of Dr K.K Sarpong was allowed to steer it.

Therefore, for us, it was unfortunate that circumstances forced him to resign his position at Kotoko, only for Opoku Nti to worm his way into the job that nobody needs telling is beyond his capabilities, hence the agitation among the Red Army for Manhyia to appoint a substitute.

While we think the reason Manhyia has held back the announcement of Kuffour’s takeover of the club may be because of a rethink of the Kotoko job being thrust into an untried and untested hand, others believe Manhyia may have been infuriated by Kuffour unveiling himself in the media as President of Kotoko, ahead of whatever the appointing authority had planned to do.

Some have other reasons, but for Opoku Nti and his management team, they are still in charge preparing Kotoko for the next season until any decision by Manhyia to the contrary.

For now, it must be a sobering period for ‘President Kuffour’ and we wonder what his world will come to without the Kotoko job that he has so much set his sights on as another epoch in his footballing life.

Nevertheless, we think all is not lost for Sammy Tugah, as the signs are still there that Manhyia will name him to preside over Kotoko with Opoku Nti’s clincher of the GFA ExCo membership.
VOA, indeed!

The Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Vincent Oppong Asamoah, VOA, as he is popularly referred to in the sports media, has been courting trouble or rather mischief these days.

The apparently loquacious deputy minister is not the Voice of America, as his initials may suggest, but certainly he appears to be heard everywhere and anywhere making controversial comments on issues relating to his sector.

Of course, he deserves to make comments on sporting issues, but where such comments are unbecoming of his office, he needs to be circumspect.

Not too long ago, the deputy minister was taken to the cleaners by the vociferous media over “take-it-or-leave-it” comments he made regarding the position of his ministry in respect of the expected winning bonus by the Black Stars at the Africa Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea.

Apparently relying on the recommendations of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry that the Stars’ winning bonus be pegged at $5,000 and not $10,000, VOA is said to have insisted on the former, but that was reneged on come the tournament when the latter was paid.

Recently, there was yet another faux pas by the deputy minister over his claim that the ministry was not informed by the GFA about the Ghana-Canada friendly international played in Washington DC, USA last night.

Of course, the FA immediately dismissed the claim by referring to an official letter from its office to the ministry dated October 5, 2015 about the said match and even impliedly pointed out that the substantive minister of the sector was already in the USA to watch the match, aside from other slated engagements.

But while the FA may have a point there, it is our contention that its notification letter to the ministry was belated and appeared to lack candour and respect for the office tasked to superintend over all sports in the country.

Therefore, the FA should equally be blameable for VOA’s apparent pent-up emotions.