The Director of Communications of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr. Henry Asante Twum, has dismissed reports that, Chris Hughton has been named as the new coach of the senior national team, the Black Stars of Ghana.
Speaking in an interview on The Probe on Sunday, the former sports journalist stated that following the dismissal of coach Milovan Rajevac, the GFA has been on a frantic search for a competent manager to redeem the image of the Black Stars.
The topic for discussion was, “The Politics of football in Ghana.”
According to him, Chris Houghton is amongst the tall list of potential candidates who may be given the Stars coaching job, including former Black Stars midfielder, Otto Addo. Adding that, talks with Otto Addo have so far been positive.
“My last conversation with the [GFA] President was that the talks [with Otto Addo] have been positive, but it comes with certain conditions as well. Yes, the FA appoints, but government takes care of the expenses and what have you, so you need to come back and engage government and see if you would be at par in terms of decision making. From then you can progress.
I don’t know about any such decision [regarding Chris Houghton’s appointment]. As far as I’m concerned, we haven’t met the Ministry. I know that we are stakeholders in development. The government is recognised in providing infrastructure and providing funds for the development of football, but as technocrats, we are responsible for the decision making. These are things we read in the media everyday.
You wake up to stories in the press that government is trying to impose a coach on the FA. I don’t remember sitting in any such meeting since our last meeting with the honourable Minister of Sports, which called for the dismissal of the technical team and also the dismissal of the management committee. That has been our last engagement as a body,” he explained.
Earlier reports from sources close to the Ghana Football Association, revealed that the GFA was ready to name the former Brighton & Hove Albion and Norwich City manager, Chris Hughton as the new Black Stars gaffer. According to the reports, Chris Hughton was bracing himself to lead the Black Stars in their upcoming World Cup Qualifier against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
However, reacting to these reports, Henry Asante Twum said currently, the Black Stars coaching job is available to all prospective coaches who have what it takes to transform the fortunes of the team.
“I cannot say he [Chris Houghton] is not on the table because once a job becomes vacant, it’s open to all. Personally I’ve received 17 calls from agents and representatives of coaches. My WhatsApp platform has been bombarded with messages from unknown people and then also the official email address of the FA has as well received loads of messages and they come in on a daily basis. So once a job becomes vacant, there are a number of people who’d express interest in coming in. So I cannot say Chris is not on the table. He is a coach who’s available, and who may be would like to come in as the next coach of the Black Stars,” he stated.
Contributing to the discussions on the state of the Black Stars, former spokesperson of the GFA, Saanie Daara disclosed that, he has received numerous concerns from some CAF executives and other football administrators about happenings in the Black Stars. According to him, those who have reached out to him have criticised the seeming involvement of government in the affairs of the Ghana Football Association.
Meanwhile, some football fans on social media are also divided on who should be the next coach of the Black Stars. While some have made strong arguments in support of Chris Hughton, others have rubbished his clout, and thrown their weight behind the Assistant Manager of Borussia Dortmund, Otto Addo.
Otto Addo was part of the Black Stars’ team that made their first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in 2006.