By Firdose Moonda
Herbert Addo is the favourite for the Ghana national coaching post. He was the only local name on a shortlist of five candidates named by the Ghana Football Associations for the vacant position on Tuesday.
The other four nominees are Marcel Desailly (former France international), Goran Stevanovic (Partizan Belgrade coach), Humberto Coelho (former Tunisia coach) and Can Vanli (head coach of Maldivan club VB). The post has been vacant since September when Milovan Rajevic’s contract was not extended.
Desailly, who was born in Accra, is considered the pick of the international names, especially because of the interest he has taken in the country of his birth. However, the 1998 World Cup winner has no coaching experience, which may tip the scales in favour of Addo. Addo is the coach of Ghanian league team Aduana Stars who lie third in the table and won the league last season.
“I think I stand a chance of making it because my records are clear. It’s unfortunate Ghanaians do not keep records, but if you check the records from 1971 through 1981 to date, you will have no doubts that I can do the job,” Addo told Ghanaweb.
Sentiment in Ghana is strongly leaning towards the appointment of a local coach, especially since Ghana have not had a permanent home-grown coach since 2002. Sellas Tettah stood in for a brief period in 2008 and Sam Arday did the same in 2004. Last month, Kwabena Appiah-Pinkrah, an MP, called for a local coach to be in charge of the Black Stars.
The MP, who is also a football administrator, said he wanted someone who had played with local teams to take the role. “He must be part of the team and must be the 12th man on the field,” Appiah-Pinkrah said.
The rubber-stamp from government may not be such a good thing as Ghana has recently been warned over interference in their national football body. In November, the sports minister insisted that Abedi Pele be nominated for a Confederation of African Football (CAF) post instead of GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi. The GFA rejected the government imposition, but came dangerously close to flirting with FIFA’s wrath.
The GFA will conduct interviews with all five candidates in the next two weeks and will appoint the new national coach in mid-December.