Soccer News of Wednesday, 31 July 2002

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One year of Ben Koufie’s FA

THE FA management board under the chairmanship of Mr. Ben Koufie marks its first year in office on Saturday, August 2.

It has no doubt been one year of achievements and controversies, but the balance sheet clearly reflects more pluses than minuses. The $25,000 Port Harcourt “gift” and “I don’t owe anybody an apology, not even you” are two incidents that generated too much heat in relation to Ben Koufie’s leadership. However, the shortcomings have not blighted the good works of the FA which constitute an indication of the good things they can do for Ghana football.

The FA is to unveil a five-year development plan that is expected to usher Ghana football into a new era of progress. For instance, the avowed pledge to insist on right ages in age competition, is a bold attempt to tackle a problem that has been allowed to become hydra-headed. We hope the FA under Ben Koufie would not compromise on its stand for the good of Ghana football.

The role the FA played in getting the government to hire an expatriate coach in the person of Yugoslav Millan Zivadinovic to handle the Black Stars can’t be overlooked. The coach who has already started work has given ample indication of what he intends to achieve with the national team.

The FA has also shown beyond every doubt that it is prepared to go to any length to see to the enforcement of discipline in the Black stars as made clear during CAN 2002.

That should be the case if we are to realise our dream of qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. There is no substitute for discipline in sports.

Perhaps the FA’s determination to come to grips with the issue of bad officiating which is like a festering sore in Ghana footbal is something it must be commended for. It is one thing that has gladdened many hearts.

The situation quite clearly appeared to be getting out of control and it was only logical that the FA and the other stakeholders acted the way they did.

As the Ben Koufie FA enters its second year, we hope it would remain focused and resolute in its efforts to change Ghana football for the better.